Jean Paul Gaultier shows off spicy couture

THOMAS ADAMSON AP Fashion Writer Published:

PARIS (AP) -- Did "Life of Pi" inspire Jean Paul Gaultier's latest collection? Or was it exotic Bombay dreaming that led to his quirky, theatrical, spring summer 2013 couture show?

Whatever the reason, an India theme featuring one shoulder sari-styles, scarves and silk "shalwar" pants all made for a fun, endearing display. Guests even chuckled to Edith Piaf's "La vie en rose" in Hindi while seated in rows named after Indian foods.

There were some vibrant East-meets-West looks.

One strong-shouldered European Spencer jacket came in paprika-colored shantung with a skirt, over a cumin-colored muslin dress -- evoking Indian-style layering. "Life of Pi," the tale of the sea-stranded boy and tiger that is now a hit movie begins in French-Indian Pondicherry, and the program notes call this look: "She came from Pondicherry."

Still, the exuberance translated a little too much into the clothes, which sometimes verged on the overly theatrical.

Gaucho-style fringing mixed with Madonna-style "Blonde Ambition" corsets, gypsy detailing, seventies disco, and even a look from the 1950s.

Only a master like Gaultier can pull off something this eclectic, but sometimes even for him, too many spices can spoil the couture broth.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP.