Friday, January 21, 2011

Andrej Pejic is James Blond

sonny vandevelde
After a big London booking delayed his arrival in Milan earlier this week and only ultimately walking in one show there - Neil Barrett - Andrej Pejic finally made a spectacular entree to the Fall/Winter 2011/2012 Paris mens show season overnight at Jean Paul Gaultier's show. As both a man - and, surprise, surprise, also as a woman. Inspired by legendary British spook James Bond, the collection was opened by a pistol-packing macho model in a tuxedo. Pejic was second out, also in a tuxedo, but with the shirt louchely loosened to bare his chest and his signature platinum blond locks parted to the side, softly curled and tumbling down over one shoulder à la Veronica Lake. Thence followed a suite of other tuxedo-inspired looks, including some deconstructed tuxes, obviously a Gaultier trademark and yet more examples of the controversial "shuit", or men's shorts suit, which has been gaining popularity on the mens runways for the past few seasons. Presumably more in keeping with Bond's action sequences, a number of sportier ensembles also hit the runway, featuring sprayed-on motocross leggings teamed with glam, gilt bomber jackets and jean jackets festooned with metallic sequins. 

After a second exit in an all black trench coat, cigarette pants and shirt ensemble, teamed with sunglasses, Pejic closed the show in high heels and a fur gilet - fur a confirmed trend this mens' season - carrying a golden gun. He was greeted with a big kiss from Gaultier when the designer took his bow. Frockwriter's backstage sources report that Gaultier referred to Pejic as his "James Blond". 

Androgyny might be a big buzzword in fashion right now, but it's worth remembering that Gaultier has been flirting with the concept for the past 30 years. 

He first promoted the idea of men in skirts in 1985, later putting them in corsets and tutus and blended genders in numerous advertising campaigns. He even launched a unisex collection back in 1994. 

No surprise, then, that Gaultier was the first international designer to cast Pejic in a runway show - at the last Paris mens shows in June 2010. And then cast him alongside lookalike Czech supermodel Karolina Kurkova for his Spring/Summer 2011 advertising campaign, dressing them in one shot in identical trench coats from the womens' collection.

You could say the supremely androgynous Serbian Australian is Gaultier's dream model.  Stand by to see just where this collaboration might be heading next.

Meanwhile, Pejic's other confirmed bookings this week include today's Comme des Garçons show and Sunday's Paul Smith show.  

all three photos above: sonny vandevelde

remaining shots: getty via daylife


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