Jean-Paul Gaultier (b.1952) French Fashion Designer

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French designer Jean Paul Gaultier acknowledges the audience at the end of his Spring/Summer 2008 Haute Couture collection show in Paris

Quirky, erotic fashions and exquisite tailoring

Jean-Paul Gaultier (b.1952) French Fashion Designer. Before launching his label in 1976, Gaultier worked for Cardin, Jacques Esteirel, and Patou. From the onset, Gaultier was dubbed the ‘enfant terrible de Paris’. He eschewed the late 1970s fad for natural fibres in his collections instead of imitation leather, artificial fur, nylon, viscose, metal, and rubber. Abstraction, surrealism, 1950s kitsch, and London street style, particularly punk, have affected Gaultier. His unexpected juxtapositions, such as combining biker leather jackets with ballet tutus, have made headlines. Corsets, conical bras, and velvet corset skirts were among the items in his high-tech collection, including bracelets made from cat food tins.

Madonna Conical Bra

Gaultier has eschewed current Western society’s fixation with thinness, employing models of various ages, shapes, and sizes. He’s also encouraged manly splendour by bringing back heels, lace, and powdered faces, as well as enlisting male models like Marilyn, an English pop sensation. In 1985, he developed men’s skirts and skirt/trousers, which had one leg in Jean-Paul Gaultier trouser and the other in a skirt, and were manufactured in traditional pinstripes or worsted.

Men in Skirts by Jean-Paul Gaultier
Men in Skirts by Jean-Paul Gaultier

While Gautier is known for his gimmicks, his clothing is also highly regarded for its excellent cut and impeccable craftsmanship.


Patterson, R. F. (1990). The Illustrated Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Designers. Tophi Books.

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