Jean Paul Gaultier is a prime example that when you really love what you do and your heart is beating faster when you do it well you will reach success, touch other people through your work and achieve greatness. Gaultier's creativity and knowledge of the 'garment' is glorious. He understands that there are many types, sizes, colours and characters of women. The glorious part of it all is that he can and wants to fulfil all these types of women/men and most importantly let them feel comfortable in their skins.
Take a picture from two garments one from Jean Paul Gaultier Couture and another from Hermès and you have two completely different styles. These ‘styles’ are designed by one man who has the successful knowledge of knowing that these outfits, want and need to be different but bottom line they are both composed of the same medium FABRIC. Jean Paul Gaultier is dressing and accepting the world as it is, the world is getting inspired and not changing in order to be dressed by JPG. A Fashion Designer that wants to inspire us and not change us is exactly who we want our Yatzereaders to really see and let their guard down. So with out no further delays we want to share with you certain things that we always wanted to find out about this talented designer. This is our interview with Mr. Jean Paul Gaultier for you.
At the very young age of 17 you send your design sketches to Pierre Cardin and he hired you as a design assistant. Now that you look back how different was the Junior Jean Paul Gaultier to today’s?
I was very shy, so on the day of my 18th birthday I went with my mother (not alone) to meet Mr Cardin when he asked to see me after he saw the sketches I sent him.
What advice would you give to that young Jean Paul Gaultier?
No advice : I think that I was lucky already to be able to live my passion : Fashion! So I did what I was feeling
In a biographical statement by Caroline Cox (updated by Karen Raugust) it is claimed that you were called the Prince of Perversity back in the day? Is sexuality in fashion a trend that some years it’s more arousing than others?
Prince of Perversity? I’ve never heard that. Interesting. I don’t think that I ever did something perverse on purpose in my work… How others interpret it is another matter. I’ve always loved the difference and I believe that beauty has many forms. Sexuality is part of our lives, it is part of who we are. There is nothing wrong in showing it. I’ve always wanted to show women strong and in charge of there destinies. I believe they are the stronger sex. And to the same effect I wanted to show that a man can be delicate and that he can be an “homme objet” as opposed to the “femme objet”. Maybe that is what was perturbing at the time.
Looking back at your collections from the 80’s and 90’s do you ever say what was I thinking of?
No, not really. I always think about what is to come, about my next collection, about new ways of expression about where my next inspiration is going to come from. It is no use to dwell on the past. We need to have a future.
In the 40’s and 50’s fashion was more constrained some things were in fashion and some were not. Very straight forward. Do you believe that the expression ‘what’s in fashion this year’ applies to the 21st C?
Not at all, you are completely right. The definition of fashion is that it goes out of fashion (la mode se démode). And there is not only one fashion, but many propositions and in this moment the world is changing so fashion is also reflecting that.
You have mentioned in a previous interview that you got your "stripes inspiration" for the whole concept of the sailor stripe from movies such as ‘The Untouchable’ with Eliot Ness. Were do you get your inspiration from today?
The Untouchables were the inspiration for the pin striped suits that I also made for women. My nautical stripes were more a recollection of my childhood, when my mother dressed me in sailor stripes. I was also influenced by Querelle de Brest, Jean Genet and Fasbinder. Today sailor stripes are part of my vocabulary, my signature in a way. Just the other day I used it to dress the walls of the suite Elle Decoration in the Palais de Chaillot. The effect is like op art, it almost makes you sea sick which is quite fun as it is achieved with the sailor stripes.
You test your audience with beauty constantly and you are a strong believer that beauty depends on how you look at it? Who is beautiful according to you?
The face of the loved one…
Jean Paul Gaultier // selection of catwalks
photo © Yannis Vlamos, Pixelformula.com
Do you feel like the ’Enfant terrible’ (as you used to be called) of French Fashion?
At my age – terrible maybe, enfant hardly.
When the ‘Enfant Terrible’ is awarded The title of Chevalier one of France’s highest Honours what is he thinking of that night before going to bed?
About my next collection? Are people going to like it, enjoy it, wear it… Seeing my creations in the street is more important than awards and decorations to me.
We are always waiting to be shocked and we were when we saw your name next to the all American brand Levi's, how did this merger happen? and is it a statement for the crisis?
No not at all. I’ve always had a jeans line, and love and wear jeans, and I’ve stopped my line for a few seasons so doing a collaboration with Levis came naturally. Levis is the original jeans, the American dream; it was an honour to collaborate with them.
Your Autumn Winter 2010/11 collection is a hope for peace joining several countries in one outfit. You fashion expresses your voice. For something so personal and for someone that is at the top for so many years how do you accept criticism about your collections?
I accept it if it is just. Sometimes journalists misunderstand my intentions, or show no interest to understand them, then it may be difficult to accept. But as I am sincere in what I do and say I don’t regret to have done it and I assume the consequences.
How did the idea for this collection commence?
I was intrigued by the debate that we had in France on “Identite Nationale” (National Identity) and I just wanted to show that we all come from somewhere different, we all have different roots but at the same time we are all part of the same tribe, of humanity and we should all be proud of who we are.
As of last month the limited edition Super Le Male Collector’s Edition is launched. If you could be a super hero what super powers would you ask for?
To bring back to life those who I loved and have died.
There are many talented new up and becoming fashion designers, who stands out to you?
Martin Margiela, Raff Simons, Nicolas Gesquiere, rick Owens, Gareth Pugh
For this third edition, Jean Paul Gaultier has taken over the former apartment designed by Jacques Carlu, the architect behind the Palais Chaillot in the 1930s. After Christian Lacroix and Maison Martin Margiela, the ELLE Decoration suite opens its doors to another avant garde French designer.
You are preparing the next Elle Deco Suite can you tell us some words about your inspiration & concept behind it?
Clothes are my vocation, and as I only know how to dress, I dressed this Elle Decoration suite in the Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine with various notes that already reside in my collections.
- First, the marine note // Walls are deployed and deformed by navy stripes, they are draped and curl around the furniture, a small “nautical morphing” lounge blends into the white fabric.
- Next, the green note. Nature opens its doors! // Plants are invited into the interior; a huge garden is imprinted on the walls! Ivy weaves into the sofa, lichen invades the woven chairs in the shade of a tree, moss, like green velvet, carpets the stone, plants tumble down the steps and hide in a net.
- The satin note, the touch of skin // Fabric unfolds on the walls of the bedroom and forms a powdery velum on the ceiling. The corset dress of a fairground doll transforms itself into a giant quilt and envelops the bed. In this room with the feel of lingerie, lace and fishnets gather together on the carpet and reflect in the window panes.
- For the reflective note, the terrace! // Paris and the Eiffel Tower resonate and multiply in facets shaped like diamonds, jewels for the sky and the clouds playing on the chequered mirror on the floor, shiny lining to the cement coating.
Clothing has gone from one state to another as we pass from one room to another.”
The ELLE Decoration Suite by Jean Paul Gaultier enjoys the sponsorship of Roche Bobois
and the support of Ege Carpet, iGuzzini, Jardins de Gally
Open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays, from 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm
One price: 3 € per person (free for under 18s)
Access via 1, place du Trocadéro - palais de Chaillot - Paris 16e - mo Trocadéro
What is a perfect day for Jean Paul Gaultier? If you planned it and anything was possible what will that day entail?
Being on the island of Mykonos and sketching my next couture collection in the beautiful light that exists only there. Eating well, enjoying myself and being with my Agapimou.
If you had to choose a creative and passionate path were fashion was not an option which path would you take?
I have never even thought about it and don’t want to think about it.
Finally you have an enchanted dinner for 6 and you have the opportunity to spend 4 hours with whomever you want dead or alive. Who do you invite to your dinner.
Marlon Brando, Ava Gardner, Melina Mercouri, Yves Saint Laurent, Coco Chanel, Edith Piaf
SIX questions to be answered with one word
|Favorite word //
|Agapimou - ΑΓΑΠΗ ΜΟΥ // ("my love" in Greek)
|Favorite Place //
|Favorite Object //
|My pantoufle (how glamorous!!)
|Who makes you Inspired //
|What makes you smile //
|To do nothing
|What makes you aggravated //