What do five meters of satin fabric have in common with Jean Paul Gaultier, the enfant terrible of French haute couture?

Nothing at first glance, but 38 prospective bespoke tailors were inspired by the designer and created eye-catching creations from the difficult-to-sew show fabric.

The amount of fabric and the choice of colors are limited for the young talent prize of the Rhein-Main tailors’ guild, and creativity has to go beyond the limits.

Monica Ganster

Editor in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

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The big gala for the young people's designs was "a probably unique event of this size in Germany," emphasized Heike Rahusen-Marsch, foreman of the guild.

In the past two years, the catwalk presentation had to be avoided due to the pandemic, but the guild was able to save the event with a call for donations and broadcast it on the Internet.

Wonderfully carefree amateur models

In the 26th year of the competition, Gaultier should serve as a beacon for the trainees.

His well-known design elements, such as the pointed breast cones on the tight corset that the singer Madonna wore as a stage outfit, blue and white stripes and maritime motifs, aureoles like a halo on the head, echoes of paintings by Frida Kahlo, were recognizable as references.

The French designer was also one of the first to send older, fatter, tattooed and androgynous people onto the catwalk alongside the uniformly slim models, most of whom happily celebrated life in diversity.

The fashion show in the Saalbau Bornheim fulfilled this requirement with wonderfully carefree amateur models who walked the catwalk with a realistic range of dress sizes.

Flirting with the audience with a wink, striding in an aristocratic pose or self-confident with so much body positivity that the joy in one's own body became noticeable in extraordinary creations.

Janina Turek, trainee in the third year of her apprenticeship at 7th Heaven Bridal Fashions Judith Bauer in Wiesbaden, presented her own design on the catwalk, bursting with energy: trousers with one leg made of black satin pleated, the other striped lengthways in rosé. black wavy lines.

Loose strips of fabric in both colors connected the garment to a headband on the back.

The sleeves are decorated with small ruffles, the upper body in transparent mesh, only covered by a lattice.

She got third prize for that.

Originality, quality and overall impression count

The runner-up, Catharina Schilt, sent what was probably the most spectacular design onto the stage: matching the corset in red and gold with expansive hips, the model wore a star-shaped collar under which numerous boning with fluttering colored ribbons starting from the back drew attention.

Make-up, shoes, hairstyle, everything went together for the trainee in the third year of her apprenticeship at Eva Seitz Fashion Design in Mainz and therefore earned a high score, because in addition to the originality and the quality of the craftsmanship, the overall impression also counted for the assessment of the expert jury.

First prize went to Nathalie Domanski, a sophomore at the Max Eyth School in Alsfeld, who had painted a recurring theme of Gaultier's of making the inside of the body visible from the outside onto the fabric of her creation and intricately embroidered it with beads.

And it proved that the ribs, the spine and the heart can look decorative on an elaborately decorated short dress with a train in blue, red and white tones.

A design by Ida Mercker, who is in her first year of training at Elise Topell Couture in Wiesbaden, provided glamor.

Her long pink dress with elegant skirt draping and a tight corset led her down the catwalk herself, perfectly complemented with an Ascot-worthy fascinator.

She was not only happy about sixth place, but also about the practical result: "When do you ever have a reason to sew a dress like that?"