Jean Paul Gaultier on 50 Years

Famous for his fashion spectaculars and his unbridled creativity, Jean Paul Gaultier is gearing up to celebrate his 50th anniversary in January with a retrospective show featuring over 200 looks celebrating his life and career. Representatives of the Paris-based maison said the event will be staged on January 22nd and will be one of the only times the brand’s Haute Couture show will not be held at its headquarters in Paris.

A rebel and an innovator, Gaultier is known around the world for his iconic, disruptive fashions like the “Blonde Ambition” cone bra and his groundbreaking skirts for men. Exhibits like “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” and his autobiographical “Fashion Freak Show” cabaret have already crystallised his name in the history of fashion. And this next show will be no exception.

As the house prepares for its upcoming celebration, NOWFASHION’S Sofia Celeste chatted with the designer about his life and his advice for novice designers.

SC: You will go down in history as the designer who transcended the catwalk, designing for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition concert, Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element,” and several Pedro Almodóvar films. What were your most risqué moments on the runway?

JPG: My most risky moment on the catwalk was definitely my first runway show! It was the seventies. It was rock n’ roll and I had never done one before, and it was just like jumping into the water and learning how to swim after. Of course, I have learned since, but it was quite a show to remember and not repeat.

SC:How do irony and humour have a place on the catwalk?

JPG: The world is already so serious, and the fashion industry is such a big business – we need a bit of lightness of being and humour! That is why I also embarked on new adventures with my show, the Fashion Freak Show. Fashion has to be a celebration and fun.

SC: Speaking of your Fashion Freak Show… it was really a collection of memories in the form of song and dance. It started with a scene from your youth: as a little boy sewing a cone bra made out of newspaper on your teddy bear Nana. The transsexual teddy bear named Nana was the protagonist of the stage production that starred Anna Cleveland. It was certainly the artistic high point of Paris Fashion week.  When is it okay to choose art over revenues?

JPG: I believe in the liberty of creation. I actually learned what “liberté” meant with Pierre Cardin when I worked for him as a young man. Monsieur always pushed me to express my creativity freely. Fashion should not be commercial or surreal, but express freedom.

SC:  How have your creative choices paid off in the end?

JPG: I guess it paid off for me as I will be celebrating my 50th year in the industry next year with my January Haute-Couture show.

SC: What sort of aesthetic mementos from your past will you carry with you – which pieces are at the soul of your collections?

JPG: My aesthetic mementos would be the corset and the conical bustier, of course; but also the ‘marinière,’ the man-skirt I did for the first time in 1984 and the Parisian androgynous look. I like to take classic elements and timeless codes and rework them, give them some edge and a touch of punk!

SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
On A Quest for Young Italian Talents
By Elisa Carassai
Fashion has been used, since forever, as a means of escapism, a way of transporting insiders and...
By Elisa Carassai
Fashion has been used, since forever, as a means of escapism, a way of transporting insiders and non to faraway lands full of beauty and creativity. From the creations of John Galliano at Dior to Alexander McQueen’s own eclectic work of arts, fashion visionaries used to bridge the gap between...
Fashion has been used, since forever, as a means of escapism, a way of transporting insiders and non to faraway lands full of beauty and creativity. From the creations of John Galliano at Dior to Alexander McQueen’s own eclectic work of arts, fashion visionaries used to bridge the gap between fashion and the arts.As the world steered in a different direction, so did the market – and the...
Celebrating Belgian Fashion
By Elisabeta Tudor
For its 4th edition, the Belgian Fashion Awards celebrated the movers and shakers of Belgian...
By Elisabeta Tudor
By Elisabeta Tudor
For its 4th edition, the Belgian Fashion Awards celebrated the movers and shakers of Belgian fashion in Antwerp during a one-day Fashion Talks event, which culminated in an awards ceremony.Organized by the Flanders District of Creativity (Flanders DC), the event is part of the non-profit...
For its 4th edition, the Belgian Fashion Awards celebrated the movers and shakers of Belgian fashion in Antwerp during a one-day Fashion Talks event, which culminated in an awards ceremony.Organized by the Flanders District of Creativity (Flanders DC), the event is part of the non-profit organization's aim to serve as a springboard for entrepreneurs in the creative industries in Flanders. In...
Quoi Alexander: A Designer on a UN Mission
By Jessica Bumpus
Fashion and AI may be having a moment, but for designer Quoi Alexander returning to the original...
By Jessica Bumpus
Fashion and AI may be having a moment, but for designer Quoi Alexander returning to the original textile technology, sewing, is what he’s most fascinated by right now. “It’s something I’ve embraced. This Spring/Summer 2020 season is the first collection with it in!” said the now Paris-based...
Fashion and AI may be having a moment, but for designer Quoi Alexander returning to the original textile technology, sewing, is what he’s most fascinated by right now. “It’s something I’ve embraced. This Spring/Summer 2020 season is the first collection with it in!” said the now Paris-based Central Saint Martins alum, who, ever since the launch of his own label, has been reinventing the wheel...
Italy’s Fashion Chamber Cracks Down on “Gifts”
By Elisa Carassai
MILAN-- The ubiquity of influencers who have garnered fame on borrowed wardrobes is, these days,...
By Elisa Carassai
MILAN-- The ubiquity of influencers who have garnered fame on borrowed wardrobes is, these days, a reality, while self-made icons – like Lee Radziwill or Jane Birkin – are sadly a thing of the past.As the fashion sector struggles to define what an influencer actually is, organisations like the...
MILAN-- The ubiquity of influencers who have garnered fame on borrowed wardrobes is, these days, a reality, while self-made icons – like Lee Radziwill or Jane Birkin – are sadly a thing of the past.As the fashion sector struggles to define what an influencer actually is, organisations like the Federal Trade Commission in the United States are cracking down on false influencer advertising. In...
3D Fur is as Good as it Gets
By Sofia Celeste
Researchers at MIT have created 3D-printed fur that is perfect for wintery couture runway looks,...
By Sofia Celeste
By Sofia Celeste
Researchers at MIT have created 3D-printed fur that is perfect for wintery couture runway looks, elaborate paint brushes, or even jewellery, the university’s Media Lab said last week on its blog.The invention is a timely one, as California became the first US state last month to place a ban on...
Researchers at MIT have created 3D-printed fur that is perfect for wintery couture runway looks, elaborate paint brushes, or even jewellery, the university’s Media Lab said last week on its blog.The invention is a timely one, as California became the first US state last month to place a ban on selling, donating, or manufacturing new fur products in the state.Over the last few years, vanguard...
This Way Forward
By Elisabeta Tudor
Caterina Occhio is a woman of many talents. A former development aid expert for the European...
By Elisabeta Tudor
By Elisabeta Tudor
Caterina Occhio is a woman of many talents. A former development aid expert for the European Commission and the United Nations, Caterina is now a full-fledged social entrepreneur who made her mark in the fashion industry by creating and contributing to women empowering and sustainable projects....
Caterina Occhio is a woman of many talents. A former development aid expert for the European Commission and the United Nations, Caterina is now a full-fledged social entrepreneur who made her mark in the fashion industry by creating and contributing to women empowering and sustainable projects. She now has been appointed social sustainability advisor at Trussardi and just launched a brand-new...
OTB and Koché Ink Partnership
By NOWFASHION
MILAN—In an attempt to expand its portfolio of emerging talent and established brands, Renzo...
By NOWFASHION
MILAN—In an attempt to expand its portfolio of emerging talent and established brands, Renzo Rosso’s OTB has reached a license agreement between its production unit Staff International and French designer brand KOCHÉ, both companies announced on Instagram Tuesday.Designed by Christelle Kocher,...
MILAN—In an attempt to expand its portfolio of emerging talent and established brands, Renzo Rosso’s OTB has reached a license agreement between its production unit Staff International and French designer brand KOCHÉ, both companies announced on Instagram Tuesday.Designed by Christelle Kocher, Koché is the 2019 ANDAM Grand Prize winner and is known for its colorful, artsy renegade style. Koché...
In Fashion’s Shoes
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris is hosting a brilliant exhibition on shoes from all around...
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris is hosting a brilliant exhibition on shoes from all around the world, from the Middle Ages until today.Footprint stickers gradually converging in the same direction – at the entrance to the MAD (Musée des Arts Décoratifs) in Paris, these stickers are perfect...
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris is hosting a brilliant exhibition on shoes from all around the world, from the Middle Ages until today.Footprint stickers gradually converging in the same direction – at the entrance to the MAD (Musée des Arts Décoratifs) in Paris, these stickers are perfect to guide the visitor to the museum’s latest exhibition, dedicated to footwear from all over the...