Jean Paul Gaultier (born 16th july 1952 in Arcueil, France) is a French haute couture and Pret-a-Porter fashion designer. Gaultier was the creative director of Hermès from 2003 to 2010. His first individual collection was released in 1976 and his characteristic irreverent style dates from 1981, and he has long been known as the enfant terrible of French fashion. What brought Gaultier immense success was the advent of his haute couture line in 1997.
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
His first individual collection was released in 1976 and his characteristic irreverent style dates from 1981, and he has long been 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 seduced by his creativity and immediately noticed his mastery of tailoring and later launched his career In 1985 he introduced man-skirts, and produced sculptured costumes for Madonna’s 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 on men’s wardrobe, and the release of designer collections.
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.
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.
Gaultier has designed a number of the costumes and outfits worn by rocker Marilyn Manson, including the outfits for Manson’sGolden Age of Grotesque album 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.
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.”
In 2011, theMontreal 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.”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,and the Barbican Center in London.
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
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.n 2012 he also participated in the Cali ExpoShow in Cali (Colombia), showing his extense collection of perfumes and all classic clothes.
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.
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%