Jean Paul Gaultier

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Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean-Paul Gaultier.jpg
Born (1952-04-24) 24 April 1952 (age 63)
Arcueil, Val-de-Marne, France
Nationality French
Occupation Fashion designer
Labels Jean Paul Gaultier
Hermès (2003 to 2010)

Jean Paul Gaultier (French: [ʒɑ̃ pɔl ɡotje]; born 24 April 1952 in Arcueil, Val-de-Marne, France) is a French Haute Couture and Prêt-à-Porter fashion designer. Gaultier was the creative director of Hermès from 2003 to 2010.[1] In the past, he has hosted the television series Eurotrash.

Life and career[edit]

Gaultier never received formal training as a designer. Instead, he started sending sketches to famous couture stylists at an early age. Pierre Cardin was impressed by his talent and hired him as an assistant in 1970. Afterwards he worked with Jacques Esterel in 1971 and Jean Patou later that year, then returning to manage the Pierre Cardin boutique in Manila for a year in 1974.[2]

His first individual collection was released in 1976, and his characteristic irreverent style dating from 1981 has led to his being known as the enfant terrible of French fashion. Many of Gaultier's following collections have been based on street wear, focusing on popular culture, whereas others, particularly his haute couture collections, are very formal yet at the same time unusual and playful.

Although most people found his designs decadent at the time, fashion editors, notably Melka Tréanton of Elle, Claude Brouet and Catherine Lardeur of French Marie Claire, were impressed by his creativity and mastery of tailoring and later launched his career.[3][4][5][6][7] In 1985 he introduced man-skirts, and produced sculptured costumes for Madonna during the nineties, starting with her infamous cone bra for her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour, and designed the wardrobe for her 2006 Confessions Tour. Gaultier has also worked in close collaboration with Wolford Hosiery. He promoted the use of skirts, especially kilts, in men's wardrobe, and the release of designer collections.

Jean-Paul Gaultier's bread exhibit, Paris, 2004.

Gaultier caused shock by using unconventional models for his exhibitions, like older men and full-figured women, pierced and heavily tattooed models, and by playing with traditional gender roles in the shows. This earned him both criticism and enormous popularity.

At the end of the 1980s, Gaultier suffered some personal losses, including his lover and business partner Francis Menuge, who died of AIDS-related causes.[8]

Gaultier designed the wardrobe of many motion pictures, including Luc Besson's The Fifth Element, Pedro Almodóvar's Kika, Peter Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's La Cité des enfants perdus (The City of Lost Children). He currently designs for three collections: his own couture and ready-to-wear lines, for both men and women.

In 1988 Gaultier released a dance single titled "How To Do That" on Fontana records from which came one of the first ever "single title" remix albums "Aow Tou Dou Zat" on Mercury records.[9] The album includes mixes by Norman Cook, JJ Jeczalik, George Shilling, Mark Saunders, Latin Rascals, David Dorrell, Tim Atkins, Carl Atkins, and Mantronik. Co-written & produced by Tony Mansfield, video directed by Jean Baptiste Mondino. The album also featured a collaboration with accordion player Yvette Horner.

Gaultier has designed a number of the costumes and outfits worn by rocker Marilyn Manson,[10] including the outfits for Manson's Golden Age of Grotesque album.[11] In France the costumes he designed for singer Mylène Farmer gained much attention. In spring 2008 he signed a contract to be again the fashion designer for her tour in 2009.

In 2008, he designed the white and silver mermaid dress that Marion Cotillard wore at the 80th Academy Awards, when she won the Oscar for her performance in La Vie en Rose.[12][13]

He is also well known for sponsoring the 2003–04 exhibit in the Costume Institute of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art entitled "Braveheart: Men in Skirts," which showed designs by Dries van Noten, Vivienne Westwood, and Rudi Gernreich in addition to Gaultier's in order to "examine[] designers and individuals who have appropriated the skirt as a means of injecting novelty into male fashion, as a means of transgressing moral and social codes, and as a means of redefining an ideal masculinity."[14][15]

In 2011, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Maison Jean Paul Gaultier organized a retrospective exhibit, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk."[16] That exhibit is on tour with venues at the Swedish Center for Architecture and Design (Arkitekturmuseet) in Stockholm, the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City,[17] the Barbican Center in London[18] and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.

He has designed the costumes for Kylie Minogue's international KYLIEX2008 tour, as well as the late iconic Hong Kong singer Leslie Cheung, who hired Gaultier to design eight different costumes for the last concert tour before Cheung's death.[2]

In 2012, he was named as a member of the Jury for the Main Competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[19] This is the first time a fashion designer was called to sit on a jury at the festival.[20] He also designed the dress that Anggun wore as she represented France during the grand-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 held in Baku, Azerbaijan.[21] In 2012 he also participated in the Cali ExpoShow in Cali (Colombia), showing his extense collection of perfumes and all classic clothes.

Gallery of selected past designs[edit]

Collections and labels[edit]

Gaultier at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

Active Labels Labels include Jean Paul Gaultier, Gaultier PARIS – couture collection – and former JEAN'S Paul Gaultier, Eyewear Jean Paul Gaultier and Jean Paul Gaultier Argent. Besides his ready-to-wear collection, in 1988 Gaultier expanded his brand to include the label Junior Gaultier, a lower-priced line designed for the youth market with a heavy nautical influence that he began to carry throughout all of his collections.

In 1988, a Junior Gaultier outfit was selected by Jeff Banks as the Dress of the Year.[22] The Junior Gaultier label was replaced in 1994 with JPG by Gaultier, a unisex collection that followed the designer's idea of fluidity of the sexes. Gaultier Jean's, a similar line consisting mainly of denim and more simply styled garments with a heavy street influence, followed in 1992, which was then replaced with Jean's Paul Gaultier from 2004 to 2008. Junior Gaultier's name was reused in 2009 for the launching of the child's wear, to be completed with a Baby Line in 2011.

What brought Gaultier immense success was the advent of his haute couture line in 1997. Through this collection, he was able to freely express the scope and range of his aesthetic, drawing inspiration from radically divergent cultures, from Imperial India to Hasidic Judaism. As a result of this success, Hermès hired Gaultier as creative director from 2003 to 2010. Hermès took a 30% stake in Jean Paul Gaultier in 2003 and later increased their stake to 45%.[1]

Gaultier's Spring 2009 couture was influenced by the visual style of singer Klaus Nomi[23] and he used Nomi's recording of Cold Song in his runway show.[24]


Le Male Perfume by Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier licenses a line of perfumes in collaboration with Puig company.[25] The first fragrance, Classique, a women's floral-oriental, was introduced in 1993, followed by Le Mâle for men two years later. Both were highly successful, and Le Mâle is now the number-one men's fragrance in the European Union based on sales; it also holds a strong market position in Australia and the United States.

The third fragrance, the women's fragrance Fragile, was introduced in 2000; however, it is now in limited distribution due to poor sales. In 2005, the unisex "fragrance for humanity" Gaultier² (pronounced Gaultier to the power of two) was launched (except in Canada, where it was launched in January 2006, and the United States, where it was launched in August 2006). Most recently, a men's fragrance, Fleur du Mâle was launched in April 2007. Shortly thereafter, the "Eau de Cologne Fleur du Mâle" was released demonstrating a lighter version of the Fleur du Mâle. The newest in the Gaultier family of fragrances is ladies fragrance "Ma Dame".

The 6 July 2011 the new men's fragrance, Kokorico,[26] has been launched at the La Gaîté Lyrique, just after the Haute Couture F/w 2011–2012 fashion show[27]

All Jean Paul Gaultier perfumes are produced under a long-term license by Paris-based Beauté Prestige International.


  1. ^ a b Odell, Amy. "Breaking: Jean Paul Gaultier to Leave Hermès – The Cut". Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "L'officiel de la mode – n°832 de 1999 – page 1 – Dremiers succès pendant ce temps c té presse". Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "Jean Paul Gaultier: Le bon génie de la mode – L'EXPRESS". L'Express. France. 14 September 2006. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Histoires de la mode, by Didier Grumbach, published by Regards in 2008
  6. ^ "Lardeur". Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Crowd Magazine. "The CROWD blog". Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  8. ^ Cole, Shaun (2002). "Gaultier, Jean-Paul". Retrieved 31 October 2007 
  9. ^ "Aow Tou Dou Zat - Jean Paul Gaultier | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ "For The Record: Quick News On Marilyn Manson And Jean Paul Gaultier, Bone Crusher, Cam'ron, Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix & More". MTV. 28 April 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2007 
  12. ^ "Marion Cotillard in Jean Paul Gaultier - 10 Best Oscar Dresses". InStyle. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Marion Cotillard's Oscar Dress, From Runway to Red Carpet". 26 February 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "Special Exhibitions: Bravehearts: Men in Skirts". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Stevens, Mark (17 November 2003). "Dress Rehearsal". New York Magazine. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "2011 Exhibits". Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "Exhibitions: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk". Brooklyn Museum of Art. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "On Tour, 2013–14". Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  19. ^ "The Jury of the 65th Festival de Cannes". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  20. ^ "NEWS | Jean-Paul Gaultier to sit on CANNES competition jury along with Nanni Moretti and others". Screen Comment. 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  21. ^ "Anggun echoes the Baku Crystal Hall". 19 May 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  22. ^ "Fashion Museum – 1980 - 1989". Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  23. ^ "Jean Paul Gaultier Couture Spring 2009". Women's Wear Daily. 28 January 2009 
  24. ^ Reddy, Sameer (29 January 2009). "Klaus! Kylie! Inès! JPG Loves The Eighties". Retrieved 3 February 2009. 
  25. ^ "Puig takes control of the brand Jean-Paul Gaultier". La Vanguardia. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  26. ^ "Jean Paul Gaultier – Kokorico | PARFUM HOMME". 2013-05-29. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  27. ^ "Front Row at Christian Dior... Front Row at Alexis Mabille... - Fashion Scoops - Fashion". 2011-07-05. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 

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