Jean Paul Gaultier AW1986 Russian Constructivist Collage Sweater

Jean Paul Gaultier AW1986 Russian Constructivist Collage Sweater


With no formal fashion education to boast of, Jean Paul Gaultier established himself in the 70s and 80s as the “enfant terrible" of French fashion. His irreverent style left nothing sacred, dancing over the standard guard rails of high-fashion — he played with gender roles, adorning men in skirts decades before others opted to, and allowed plus sized women and older men to grace his runways. His talent was undeniable, though his utilization of such gifts made him a fiercely divisive designer. While often ripped by the French press, he gained the hearts of numerous subversive, forward-thinking icons, including Madonna and Marilyn Manson, both whom he conceptualized tour wardrobes for.

Appearing on the runway for Gaultier’s legendary 1986 Russian Constructivist collection, this turtleneck reinforces aesthetic traits of the Constructivist movement with its bold yellow and black stripes, while incorporating techniques and signifiers more of the era it was produced in. This makes it a crucial and unique outlier within the collection as a whole, which typically clung with respect to the geometric and abstract principles of Constructivism. The collage visual template employed is anathema to the rigidly mathematic guidelines which encompassed Constructivism, yet still nods to the genre with visuals such as Buster Keaton, who was a popular character in constructivist art. His fast-paced, freeform editing style was a key influence on Russia’s major political filmmakers of the time, including Sergei Eisenstein. It additionally features faces more of Gaultier’s time and place, including Joe Dallasandro, a Warhol superstar and icon of America’s broader sexual revolution of the ‘70s. The knit is heavy, and sits straight and rigid atop the wearer, allowing the canvas to be fully displayed.

Condition: 9/10. No significant flaws.

Tagged size: 42 (fits S)

Shoulder: 18in

Pit to pit: 20.5in

Length: 25in

Sleeve: 22in

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