It’s no secret that The Fifth Element has long been one of my favorite movies. (actually, in general, an aside about how I’ve always kind of been way into Luc Besson’s girls though I Have Some Cognitive Dissonance about the whole like fragile-tortured-asskicking-childlike-animallike-babe thing? ANYHOO. Clothes!)
But re-watching it last night drove home one reminder pretty hard: holy shit, those Gaultier costumes were brilliant. Aside from the obvious — Milla Jovovich in orange crotch-suspenders, Gary Oldman’s plastic-covered undercut and pinstripe coat — the over 900 costumes on everyone else in the movie do so much to create the feel of the film that’s made it so visually memorable for over a decade.
I mean, seriously. In retrospect also, there’s something so quintessentially mid-90’s about all of it too, as if Gaultier embodies something about the 90’s in the same way Balenciaga and Hedi Slimane’s Dior Homme seem to represent pop culture in 2000-2010. Looking back over his collections from the late 80’s to the mid 90’s — the cone bras, the kilts, the corsetry, the deconstruction, the lurid colours, long skirts, “tribal” and “medieval” influences — there’s an inevitable sense of playful, cheeky irreverence about it all that I can’t get enough of. Gaultier’s set for a massive retrospective, starting out at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts this coming June before traveling to Dallas and San Francisco (and fingers crossed for New York!)
As a side note — if anyone knows of a good resource for digging up runway images pre-2000, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LET ME KNOW. It’s practically impossible, which is pretty disappointing. Most of these images are from the SS07 30-year retrospective collection, which kind of doesn’t count. Alas!
Much more from The Fifth Element and classic Gaultier, after the jump.
THIS OUTFIT IS ALL I HAVE EVER DREAMED OF, JUST SAYIN’