Theatrical designers love to hire Anna Cleveland to walk their runways, because she has a knack for putting on a show. Jean Paul Gaultier‘s fall couture show opened and closed with the lanky charismatic mod. The opening number was an ode to Gaultier’s iconic Brittany stripes, which has become a sort of emblem for the brand. It was a motif that carried throughout the show. Cleveland sported a circular skirt, blue and white striped tights with a matching rectangular chapeau and white clogs. It felt like a chic take on the famous Franco-Belgian cartoon Asterix et Obelix.
But the Brittany references abounded. There were a few exquisite mariner coats and jackets, for instance, in reference to Brittany’s seaside locale and a foghorn followed by the sound of seagulls opened the show. The hats, both the tall rectangular and square shaped ones, were a take on Bigouden, which are traditional Breton headdresses. The patterns in orange and mustard yellow numbers were also typical of Breton’s native dress—a particularly stunning version in floor-sweeping velvet came on Lindsey Wixson and was adorned with a yellow dyed fox fur. Even the circular skirts were meant to be a reference to crêpes, which were first created in Brittany. The most dramatic version came on Anna Cleveland, of course, and took up 75 percent of the runway. Talk about stage presence!