​The latest Jean Paul Gaultier collab has just gone live. It has linked with KNWLS on a capsule that “fuses the disruptive femininity and fierceness” of the London brand with Gaultier’s “punk rebellion, grit and glamour”.

Jean Paul Gaultier x KNWLS

It draws inspiration from both brands’ archives with a past-present vibe that blends the two styles effectively without either being overpowered by the other. That’s no mean feat for a pair of labels with very distinctive individual styles.

Print is a key focus for both so no surprise that it’s to the fore here. There’s a hand-stencilled trompe-l’œil tattoo print inspired by heavy-metal ephemera that features a wide-mouthed serpent poised to bite the wearer’s nipple. There’s also a scratched wood pattern, derived from a decaying fence that KNWLS’ Senior Print Designer Harriet Cox found lying on the street. She then hand-etched naive heart-shaped JPG KNWLS carvings into the wooden surface. 

Gaultier’s love of corsetry is applied to a tailored suit jacket and flared trousers co-ord. The house’s marinière has been given the KNWLS bleach plaid treatment as a series of skin-tight, body-contoured mini-dresses and sheer, flesh-baring knitted separates defined by off-shoulder sailor collar and wraparound silhouettes.

KNWLS’ signature aged leather comes as a distressed high-neck shearling jacket with oversized shaggy sleeves, a leather bomber jacket and a corset harness with rib inserts.

Both brands are also known for their denim and here it references pure Gaultier style such as a corseted dress with conical cups. There’s a lace-up top and shorts set too, in distressed lilac and ice-mint washed twill stretch cotton. 

The star piece is a corset costume in screen printed leather with hand-crocheted panelling “that took the team and crochet maestro Harry Evans almost a year to construct” and that, again, mixes elements of both labels’ signatures. 

For such a high-profile collab, it’s unsurprising that there’s an equally high-profile campaign to support it. Shot by “friend of the label and die-hard Jean Paul Gaultier fan Harley Weir”, it was styled by Georgia Pendlebury and stars rising model Alex Consani. Influenced by late 80’s and early 90’s Jean Paul Gaultier campaigns, the resulting visuals “feature a hand-cut logo and overexposed techniques. Analogue, yet graphic, [the campaign] perfectly encapsulates the DNA of both brands”, we’re told. 

Florence Tétier, Jean Paul Gaultier’s creative director, said: “I’ve always been a fan of KNWLS’ work and have collaborated with them in the past. Their world is really connected to the legacy of Jean Paul Gaultier and it made total sense to give birth to this collection inspired by the very specific vision of the women body both brands have.”

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