Drug addict inspires Gaultier

Andrej Pejic on the runway.
Andrej Pejic on the runway.
Karlie Kloss on the runway.
Karlie Kloss on the runway.
Gaultier's Paris Couture Week collection.
Gaultier's Paris Couture Week collection.
Gaultier's Paris Couture Week collection.
Gaultier's Paris Couture Week collection.
Gaultier's Paris Couture Week collection.
Gaultier's Paris Couture Week collection.
Gaultier's Paris Couture Week collection.
Gaultier's Paris Couture Week collection.

Never one to merge into the background (remember the conical bra?), Jean Paul Gaultier, 60, pulled out all of the stops for his Paris Couture Week show.

The high priest of risqué French fashion brought the house down with opulent fabrics, daring mixes of caged leather and slinky fur and more than just a nod to the silver screen - and attributed his success to a rather surprising muse.

Troubled British rocker Pete Doherty, who last week cancelled festival bookings across Europe in order to fight heroin and crack cocaine addiction in rehab, is the unlikely inspiration behind the designs.

KICKED OUT: Actor, musician and drug addict Pete Doherty.
KICKED OUT: Actor, musician and drug addict Pete Doherty.

Gaultier fell for 33-year-old Doherty's character in Confession of a Child of the Century, which recently screened at the Cannes film festival.

"I said 'My God, he is so seductive, a decadent dandy'... and that's my collection," he said.

The collection is replete with glamourous rich velvet, soft fox fur, splashes of bright colour, vampire-like collars, netted caps and top hats.

Starring on the runway was androgynous Australian model Andrej Pejic, who stole the show in a series of form-fitting gowns.

Structured bodices, gold swatches, metal cages, floor-length pleats, acres of metallic silk, tassels and pom-pom sleeves made the line of one-off creations a feast for the eyes.

Gaultier, whose show started an hour late, said Fritz Lang's 1927 science-fiction classic Metropolis was his "original idea" for the show's theme.

And the display did indeed echoes of a bygone era of Hollywood - a touch that Bette Midler, in the front row, said was "lively and provocative."

-Sydney Morning Herald