Jean Paul Gaultier offers varied style

THOMAS ADAMSON AP Fashion Writer Published:

PARIS (AP) -- Clothes as body armour was the original concept behind Jean Paul Gaultier's rather dizzying fall-winter 2013-14 show in Paris.

A play on voluminous layers of leather, fur, silks, chiffon and even knits -- both hanging and enveloping the body-- constructed a protective silhouette over models. Presumably, Gaultier is expecting a particularly biting winter.

It all made for a varied collection with some great looks, but one that was frustratingly hard to pin down.

Graphic '80s elements, such as Polaroid-type prints, followed a long sheer chiffon dress in eggplant with '70s pleats, and thick bands of fur.

Long stripy scarves came alongside a tartan dress. And studded leather bustier tops with '50s peplums could easily have come from another collection altogether.

Gaultier explained backstage: "It was also the idea of patchwork, the patchwork of fabrics."

When interpreted literally, patchwork made for one of the show's high points: a sumptuous patchwork fur coat in panels, with a stylish cinched waist-strap. But in terms of cohesiveness, the collection remained elusive.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP