Any mention of Jean-Paul Gaultier always makes me think of Madonna, Marilyn Manson and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. In other words: designs that are black, severe and costumey, with a tinge of S&M. One word that doesn't come to mind? Target. But it appears the famous Frenchman will be whipping up a collection for the discount retailer, following in the footsteps of Anna Sui, Alexander McQueen, Provenza Schouler and Thakoon Panichgul. To make clothes and accessories palatable to the discount-shopping masses, the designers in this haute-couture exchange program usually produce low-cost knock-offs of their upscale lines. The products bear little resemblance to the originals, which works out fine for label-chasers who can spare only about $30 and don't have a runway-ready 'tude. But the idea of a watered-down Gaultier just seems wrong. Go kinky or go home, I say, and don't give me any Gaultier Lite. What would Madge say? Look for the line, for better or worse, in early March. Coming sooner: holiday frocks from Rodarte, the brand from celeb-fave designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy. Reserving judgment on the level of avant-garde they attempt for a big-box store.
—Posted by T.L. Stanley