Gaultier first realized the impact of his sketches when he was punished by his school teacher for drawing Folies Bergère showgirls. He was made to walk around school with the drawing pinned to his back. The punishment, however, only made the young Gaultier aware of his potential for showmanship.
At the end of the 1980s, Gaultier suffered some personal losses, including his lover and business partner for fifteen years Francis Menuge, who died of AIDS-related causes. Since then, there has been no mention of a significant other. (Picture: Jean Paul Gaultier holding a portrait of Francis Menuge)
The designer lives in Paris, where his business is headquartered, but also spends time in Italy, where his clothes are manufactured.
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 from 1974-'75.
Francis Menuge, Jean-Jacques Picart and Jean Paul Gaultier
At the end of the 1980s, Gaultier suffered some personal losses, including his lover and business partner for fifteen years Francis Menuge, who died of AIDS-related causes. "I have been in love with the same person for 15 years," Gaultier said of his longtime companion. "It's my first love which continues. That person is a part of me." Since then, there has been no mention of a significant other. The designer lives in Paris, where his business is headquartered, but also spends time in Italy, where his clothes are manufactured.
Des Robes qui se Dérobent, spring/summer 2001
Dress, ca. 1990
Silver metallic evening dress printed with floral motifs. Straps and neckline trim made from synthetic knitted band in red, orange and blue. Straps cross over at back. Dress is fitted to the body.
Shorts suit, ca. 1995
After working with designers Pierre Cardin, Jacques Esterel and Jean Patou, Jean-Paul Gaultier (b. 1952 in Arcueil, France) launched his first collection in 1976. His iconoclastic style defined 1980s and early 1990s French fashion. Many of his collections have drawn inspiration from street fashion and from popular culture. His menswear designs, such as this ensemble completed with both shorts and leggings, are not for the timid. His work often features unusual cut and startling accessories.
Knitted skirt suit, 1990s
Knit jacket, slightly blouson style, with ribbing at cuffs, neck and hem, center zipper with two front zippered pockets
Ensemble, fall/winter 1994–95
Dress, fall/winter 1993–94
Sweaters are ostensibly about warmth, but these two of the 1990s are more conceptual than cozy, sacrificing a toasty warm wrap to a more delicate idea of deconstruction.
Evolution, fall/winter 2003–4
Ensemble, probably spring 1994
Dress, fall/winter 1995–96
Dress, ca. 1993
Evening ensemble, spring/summer 2000
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 (bad boy) 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. Jean-Paul Gaultier produced sculptured costumes for Madonna during the nineties with her infamous cone-bra for her Blond Ambition Tour and designed the wardrobe for her Confessions Tour in 2006, as well. 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, as well as the newly relaunched clothing line for Hermès, a French leather goods company well-known for their equestrian background, scarves, and expensive and difficult to obtain handbags.
Gaultier has designed a number of the costumes and outfits worn by rocker Marilyn Manson, including the outfits for Manson's Golden 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's also well-known for his exhibit in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art known as Bravehearts - Men in Skirts.
Has designed the costumes for Kylie Minogue's international KYLIEX2008 tour. The late iconic Hong Kong singer Leslie Cheung hired Gaultier to design eight different costumes for his last concert tour before his death.
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. This 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 comprised 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 in 2004.
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 perversity of his aesthetic, from inspiration ranging from imperial India to Hasidic Judaism. As a result of this success, Hermès hired Gaultier as creative director in 2003.
Jean-Paul Gaultier's wit and attitude would be lost were it not for his technical skill and sophistication, shown by the success of his couture label. His looks are strong and may appear lecherous, while always remaining respectful to women's body and sexuality. As the '90s wore on and tastes began to change, his ready-to-wear followed suit, and today he is known by large as having mastered the looks of chiffon gowns, trench coats and pant suits.
In addition to being a fashion designer, Jean-Paul Gaultier is known for a popular line of perfumes. His 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. His 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, Jean-Paul Gaultier's latest men's fragrance, Fleur du Mâle (a pun on Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal), was launched in April 2007. All Jean-Paul Gaultier perfumes are produced under a long-term license by Paris-based Beauté Prestige International, a division of the Japanese company Shiseido that also produces fragrances for Narciso Rodriguez and Issey Miyake. BPI is now in charge of the John Varvatos fragrance line as well as SKIN (His skincare line for men). He has released a new fragrance known as Madame
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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