I had the pleasure of checking out “The Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier: From The Sidewalk To The Catwalk”.
The Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit showcased the fashion and costume designed life of the “enfant terrible”, who is one of the inspirations in my life. I have been a fan of this man for most of my life and to me, he has always marched to the beat of his own drum. The movies that he has designed costumes for have become my favorite design oriented movies. The artists that he have designed tour wardrobes for have been all kinds of crazy and fun and reflective of where the artist is at that time and even taking them into another element. Even his television appearances are the stuff of legend. All of the pictures are from the exhibit and they cover the entire exhibit. I didn’t take any pictures of the “Blond Ambition” sketches because there were so many people huddled up around them and I was more interested in the clothes than the sketches (although beautiful). The pics are not professional, but they give you an idea of the exhibit.
Jean-Paul Gaultier was born on April 24, 1952 in Arcueil, Val-De-Marne, France (3.3 miles from Paris). For the amazing designs and craftsmanship that he has, he has never trained as a designer, but his illustration skills are out of this world. The only other designer that is an amazing illustrator is Karl Lagerfeld.
Jean-Paul got his start as an assistant for Pierre Cardin (born July 2, 1922) in 1970, then did some work with Jacques Esterel in 1971 and then Jean Patou . He returned to manage Pierre Cardin’s stores in Manila.
Jean-Paul’s first collection was in 1976, but it wasn’t until 1981 that he became more daring with his designs and becoming known as the “enfant terrible” of French fashion, encompassing street culture and fashion, pop culture and creating unconventional fashion for men and women. he is a master tailor and many fashion editors took notice of his amazing skills and his injection of fun that he put into the clothes. In 1985, he put men in skirts, which I LOVED and inspires me to wear a kilt today. He also created sculpted corsets for Madonna’s “Blond Ambition” tour as well as the costumes for her “Confessions” tour and created costumes for Kylie’s “X” tour, which is a DVD that I must hunt down and own!!!!
He also turned the fashion world on it’s head by using unconventional models in his shows and campaigns (older models, plus sized models, tattooed models, etc.). Even though this made him quite popular, there was always some sort of nasty criticism for his clothes. He stuck by his choices and became the trendsetter.
To this day, he continues to influence popular culture, serving as an amazing designer for movies (The Fifth Element, The Cook The Thief, The Wife, The Lover, City Of Lost Children), for iconic artists (Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Myleene Farmer) and a trendsetter in popular culture. Today he is still going strong and still shaking things up.
Happy Birthday, Jean-Paul!!!! You have inspired me in so many ways, I can’t even begin to say them all. You are one of the many designers that put a fire in me during my high school years to do what you do, shake things up with no apologies. You and Vivienne Westwood rule my worlds and I will always bow at your feet. Continue to shake things up with no apologies and always know that I will be your loyal fan for life!!!!!
Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!