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Autumn/Winter 2004/05

Jacket and skirt

Woven polyester, fabric by Aeffe of Italy

Jean Paul Gaultier, Paris, France

Follow the thread


Jean Paul Gaultier showed his Autumn/Winter 2004/05 ready-to-wear collection on lifeless mannequins, and models with their faces obscured by scarves. This unusual catwalk show was designed to make his audience focus purely on the clothes. 

Who wore it

A mannequin takes to the Paris catwalk


The influences behind Gaultier’s work are extremely diverse. This collection featured his signature playful mix of masculine and feminine traits and included traditional British textiles such as tweed, tartan and Fair Isle. Gaultier is one of a number of contemporary designers who has used traditional Scottish textiles such as tartan throughout his career – drawing upon the fabric’s anti-establishment connotations as well as traditional Highland dress.

Social Culture

Jean Paul Gautier has long been fascinated with the dress of other cultures and social attitudes towards gender. In 1985, he showed his first men’s skirt in a collection entitled ‘And God Created Man’, which caused a sensation among the fashion media. He cited traditional male uniforms from around the world as inspiration, from the Scottish kilt to the Samurai hakama.

Craft Skills

Fabrics are central to Gaultier’s creations and he is a master of combining unusual and unexpected materials.

The fabric of this suit is highly innovative and rewards closer inspection. Manufactured in Italy, the pattern is based on a digital photograph of a length of tartan with two kilts laid on top of it. This image has then been woven using a computer-controlled jacquard loom, creating a trompe l’oeil effect.

Gaultier is renowned for playing with our perception and expectations of fashion. Trompe l’oeil and visual puns have been a constant feature throughout his career, from prints of tattoos, to exotic animal skins rendered in sequins.