Hermès agreed to sell its 45% stake in Gaultier to Puig in Spring 2011 for €16 million, that is $24 million, and the Spanish company, whose primary focus is perfumes, also assumed €14 million in debt. Besides, Mr Gaultier, who had owned 55% of his fashion house, sold a 15% stake to the Puig family. Marc Puig, chairman and chief executive of the firm based in Barcelona since 1914, said in a statement that his company was very proud to take over from Hermès and continue the development of a brand with such great creativity. Puig also supports the fashion houses of Nina Ricci, Carolina Herrera and Paco Rabanne and creates fragrances for Comme des Garçons, Prada and the actor Antonio Banderas. This said, the beauty of the showroom is that collections there don't necessarily have to cohere : editorial and commercial, new and returning, can sit side by side on the rack. That's not true of the runway, where a tightly edited message is a must. For this first season with Puig, Jean-Paul Gaultier staged a runway show-as-sales appointment (or is it sales appointment-as-runway show ?) complete with open seating, dressers stripping and clothing models in full view, and planted "buyers" browsing line sheets and discussing their buys. And that allowed JPG to back into a collection that ricocheted this way and that, from tropical print to sheers and transparencies to plaids to all-in-ones. Piece by piece, you could imagine plenty of it selling. And maybe that's the point. Certainly there was good stuff -some of the Hawaiian items, the naval sweaters that closed the show- throughout. But it felt like a missed opportunity, too. Perhaps you could tell the corporate restructuration caused the French designer to tone down this collection. Anyhow Jean-Paul Gaultier saw a full-scale retrospective of his work open at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. If he was going to cast a wide net, why not take the opportunity to trawl in a few clever reworkings of the greatest hits ?