HTX France 2013
Strike a pose

Behind the seams: Jean Paul Gaultier atelier showcases haute collection — and macarons

Behind the seams: Gaultier atelier showcases haute collection

2 Jean Paul Gaultier salon Paris June 2013
Stripes and fabrics in rich colors are hallmarks of the latest Gaultier couture collection. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
14 Jean Paul Gaultier salon Paris June 2013 Joyce Echols, Melissa Mithoff
Joyce Echols, left, and Melissa Mithoff strike a pose at the entrance to the Gaultier atelier. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
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A model showcases a look from the haute collection. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
8 Jean Paul Gaultier salon Paris June 2013 macarones
Macarons are everywhere in Paris, including at this atelier visit. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
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Can you tell that Gaultier has designed for Madonna? Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
3 Jean Paul Gaultier salon Paris June 2013 Elizabeth Petersen, Valerie Cooper
Elizabeth Petersen, left, and Valerie Cooper, amid the Gaultier designs. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
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A peek into the salon where Gaultier shows his designs. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
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Orange is the color of the moment.   Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
2 Jean Paul Gaultier salon Paris June 2013
14 Jean Paul Gaultier salon Paris June 2013 Joyce Echols, Melissa Mithoff
6 Jean Paul Gaultier salon Paris June 201
8 Jean Paul Gaultier salon Paris June 2013 macarones
12 Jean Paul Gaultier salon Paris June 2013
3 Jean Paul Gaultier salon Paris June 2013 Elizabeth Petersen, Valerie Cooper
13 Jean Paul Gaultier salon Paris June 2013
4 Jean Paul Gaultier salon Paris June 2013

PARIS — Jean Paul Gaultier is always up to something interesting. In a 46-year career, France's bad boy of fashion has garnered attention for creating man-skirts, the conical bra for Madonna's "Blonde Ambition" 1990 concert tour, costumes for Bjork, Kylie Minogue, Marilyn Manson and the classic sci-fi movie, The Fifth Element.

Since launching his first prêt-à-porter collection in 1976 and founding his own couture house in 1997, he has featured unconventional models — pierced, heavily tattoed, plus-sized, older — and conventional models doing unconventional things — I was in the audience when model Coco Rocha opened and closed Gaultier's ready-to-wear show in 2007 by dancing an Irish jig.

 Gaultier's haute collection is inspired by his vision of an Indian bride being transported to her wedding on an elephant.  

For the women attending Liasons au Louvre Trois, host Becca Cason Thrash arranged a visit to Gaultier's atelier to see his work upclose. Located in the trendy Marais district, the Gaultier headquarters also houses a showroom and other workspaces. Many of the designer's intimate runway shows are held here, too.  

The 61-year designer wasn't at the gathering, but his team showcased pieces from the spring/summer 2013 haute collection, which was inspired by gypsies and his vision of an Indian bride being transported to her wedding on an elephant.

The colorful collection emphasizes gowns and floaty tops with wide stripes (one of the season's big trends) as well as a draping technique used since he first opened his couture house 16 years ago, when he hired two seamstresses from the atelier of the legendary Madame Grès who have passed on their skills to a new generation, according to Vogue.

Also colorful: Macarons in various shades and flavors were served — and who can turn them down?