Sleek silhouettes

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 October, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 October, 1995, 12:00am

IF some of the elements of the latest Jean-Paul Gaultier collection risk appearing retro, then the modernity of the materials he uses and the way he puts it all together quickly dispel this illusion.

The autumn and winter look is described as 'modern Amazons' and the prevalence of long, full riding skirts that swirl around the ankle would certainly seem to justify that appellation.

'The silhouette is long,' said buyer Dorothy Wong. 'We have long dresses and coats and the shoulders are elaborated with broad shoulders and heavy shoulder pads.' The dresses flare out slightly from a high waistline.

In contrast, there are streamlined silhouettes for suits with long jackets and straight skirts or trousers. Moulded to the body, jackets often have zips and high collarless necklines.

When combined with details, such as reinforced kneecaps, these suits appear like biker outfits. They are in leather or a wetsuit material that is used throughout.

'He has trimmed scuba-diving material with fake fur on the collar and cuffs,' Ms Wong said. This is mostly on neon-coloured jackets.

'Another interesting thing is he applied computer stitching on the scuba-diving material to make a sort of pattern, like embroidery but done by computer,' she said.

Short jackets create a kind of hourglass silhouette that is slim at the waist but a bit exaggerated on the hip line and bust line. These are in velvet.

Gaultier likes to mix real leather and wetsuit material, or nylon sateen with silk, and also hosiery material with chiffon.

For the evenings, Gaultier's suits and dresses in nylon have been adorned with feathers.