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April 29, 2020
In January, Jean Paul Gaultier announced through social media that he would be retiring from the runway after 50 years of loyal service to the fashion industry. The legendary fashion designer, born in a Paris suburb, was also a successful TV presenter and writer.
His grandmother introduced him to the fashion world at the age of 13, and he started designing and creating clothes for her and his mother. He devoured fashion magazines and showed great interest in fashion evolution. As a child, Jean Paul asked his parents for a Barbie doll, but his parents thought this inappropriate for a boy, so bought him a teddy bear instead. He proceeded to put make-up on his bear and made a cone bra for it.
He never received formal training as a designer, but began to send sketches to famous couture stylists. Pierre Cardin was so impressed by his talent that he hired him as an assistant in 1970.
His first individual collection was released in 1976 and his characteristic irreverent style, dating from the early 1980s led him to be known as the enfant terrible of fashion. Gaultier wasn’t afraid to shock.
In 1985 introduced man-skirts and promoted their use. He loved using unconventional models; face piercings, extensive tattoos, ages and unconventional body shapes not normally seen on the runway. You can easily spot his creations. His signature look is definitely the marinière - the sailor white and blue stripes, but he also loves tartan and used it a lot.
His first perfume, Classique, was introduced in 1993. It had an oriental floral scent and was followed by Le Male the men’s version two years later. Both were highly successful. That same year he scandalized the couture establishment by co-hosting the Channel 4 late show Eurotrash.
His creations were seen everywhere; on Beyonce’s 2011 music video “Run The World”, on red carpets with Lady Gaga at the MTV Music Award in 2009, Rhianna at the American Music Award in 2015 or Kim Kardashian at the Grammy’s.
One of his most iconic looks was Madonna’s outfit and her cone bra for the Blond Ambition tour in 1990. Marylin Manson wore Gaultier here for his album The Golden Age of Grotesque. Kylie Minogue chose Gaultier couture collection for her 2009 Kylie X tour. The next year she used one of his gowns for the cover of her album Aphrodite.
He created the looks for Pedro Almodóvar’s films, the Bad Education and The Skin I Live In, for Peter Greenaway’s film, The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover. And also, for Luc Besson’s $263 million box office hit, The 5th Element.
But because all this wasn’t enough, Jean Paul also collaborated with the New York skate brand Supreme and was creative director at Hermes for womenswear from 2003 to 2010.
His last spectacular couture show careered through 90 minutes with more than 200 looks. The show was directly inspired from the ‘80s and ‘90s, when catwalk extravaganzas were as much about theatre as they were about fashion.
He said about his inspirations:
“I have opened all my drawers, taken back all my old collections, I have used my archives as material. Goodbye the brand-new; hello the brand old. What I did at the beginning with no resources, I do today with my inheritance to give life to new creations.”
And it was just sublime, so thank you Mr Gaultier for making us dream for all these years.
Lamphane Pathammachak atMichael Van Clarke
May 29, 2020
May 28, 2020
Mousse...maligned and misunderstood. We blame its upbringing. Right officer. What’s the charge sheet? Aiding and abetting the styling of mullets. Conspiring with
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