1. Aztec Ascension

Click here for the complete collection on Style.com.

Just wait. It gets better.

Jean Paul Gaultier is already the mad scientist, the mixer, the magician.

While probably the simplest, most classic look in the collection, I just love this suit (and that hat!) too much not to post.
Gaultier's bustier gone buckaroo. Now we're getting somewhere...

I have been sitting on my notes for the couture line up for over a week now, attempting to formulate my ideas in some kind of publishable way.

You won't even believe how much further it goes from here. I love this.

This collection, though my favorite, is hardest for me to talk about.

Maybe because it's my favorite.

I imagine sacrificed virgins resurrected as ferocious and enchanted demigods.

Joan of Arc as a conquistador.

Pirates and pioneers and priestesses at play and at war.

Mythical warrior women, tribal goddesses.

See what I mean?

One if by land,

The references and touches here are all over the place and yet all point in the same direction.

Two if by sea.

This is so inventive and wild and wonderful. I’ve gone through these photos tens and tens of times.

With each viewing it gets better and better. You're picking up what I'm putting down, aren't you? This stuff is magical.

As with Thimister’s collection, war, imperialism, and cultural conflict are referenced, but here there is less of a political bend. It is impossible to tell in any look from which side the warrior comes, or which references within a single look hold the real power.

Pieces from everywhere. Amazing.

Each outfit is a character, captures a mood, but the stirrings are so fun-loving, and fierce, and frenzied, and fabulous that I think analyzing too much or over-politicizing is to miss the point for JPG. Thimister shot at something (pun intended) that not many designers have been willing to do, I do not think that Gaultier wishes to stir up such direct and dirty feelings. This is fantasy and myth more than war and history. Illusion more than allusion.

Because sometimes beauty is the point, is the unifying factor, is the reason for art as much as any message.

And this is often true of fashion at its best. Which couture shows should be.

All images taken from Style.com.