Walking briskly through the Target aisles in search of the greatly anticipated Jean Paul Gaultier collection released March 7, I was eager to see all the hype for myself. Everyone who is familiar with Gaultier’s style was expecting to see elements of what he is showing in his own lines for the current and upcoming seasons to inspire his Target line. Instead of previewing the pieces online before I actually went to see them in person, I thought I would go in and let the product sell itself. I can’t say I walked out with any bags, but I did leave with an appreciation and understanding of the designer’s vision for the line.
Gaultier noted in Elle magazine, “I think that in every woman’s wardrobe, she needs to have expensive, glamorous thing but to be able to mix them with more simple items.” Gaultier claims in his line to have affordable pieces (and separately they are, ranging from $19.99 to $59.99). However, the 20 looks that are shown to promote the line are often paired with other more expensive pieces that allow for the entire image Gaultier is trying to capture to be complete. Part of those more expensive pieces in the supposedly “cheap” line include a $200 leather jacket that is set to launch as the second half of the line is released to over 250 Target stores in early April.
Gaultier’s vision for the line was clearly meant to outfit a diverse type of woman. With looks ranging from a nylon rolled-collared pink and white floral shift dress to a one piece metallic gold bathing suit, the pieces introduced so far suggest Gaultier wanted to bring a Parisian touch to American pop culture.
After perusing through the 14 pieces available, I decided to try a few things on to see how the quality and fit of the different pieces was. My picks were a thin blue and white stripe tee with a cut out anchor design, a thin pinstriped tailored jacket, (a Gaultier classic), with a matching mini skirt, and lastly, a mustard colored halter dress. Needless to say, I had major issues with all three pieces. The dress was nylon and felt like I was wearing a garbage bag. It had an itchy polyester fish net lining that nearly gave me a rash. To top it all off, it had absolutely no shape and did nothing for my body. As for the matching jacket and skirt set, I simply could not figure it out. The contradiction between the ultra conservative top and provocative, short skirt was a failing duo.
Overall, the Gaultier line is overpriced for the quality of the clothing the buyer is still paying up to $60 for. Like most designer clothes that are overpriced, the line wouldn’t be give a second glance if it didn’t have the name attached to the product. It would be one thing if the quality matched the price tag, but for the John Paul Gaultier self-proclaimed “cheap and chic” line, there’s too much cheap and not enough chic filling the racks at Target.
**I know those pictures of me are AWFUL, but at least I'll spare you the embarrassment of trying them on for yourself**