A name and a brand, Jean Paul Gaultier has long been associated with impressive "haute couture" design and even for his shock factor. After all, this is the French designer responsible for Madonna's famous cone bra, featured during her 1990s tour, for creating and selling "man skirts”, and for using substantially older men and plus-sized models on his runway shows.
However, shock factor aside, his work has proven itself to be remarkably wearable, and he was hired to head the brand Hermes for several years as well as doing all of his own collections and labels.
Born in the 1950s in France, Jean Paul Gaultier is unlike many others in the industry having never formally trained to design clothes. Instead, he took a leap and sent his drawings and original designs to one of the biggest names of the 1970s - Pierre Cardin. The established designer was truly impressed with what he saw and took the young Jean Paul Gaultier as an assistant.
This allowed him to make connections and sharpen his skills, and by 1976 he was able to create his first collection. It was a success, though it was also considered out of the ordinary with its excesses and decadence. However, his look shifted over time to be more reflective of pop culture and street wear, earning him praise and even such descriptions as playful and fun.
His tendency towards extreme tailoring, however, also earned him tremendous praise as few modern designers are so technically skilled. By the late 1990s, his look had been discovered by some of the biggest names in entertainment as well as fashion, and he was releasing collections and enjoying partnerships.
He was also hired by filmmakers to handle costuming, with The Fifth Element appearing among his credits. The stylized look of the film is what earned it so many fans, though not many realized it was Jean Paul Gaultier who was responsible for its iconic aesthetic. His ability to cross lines and mediums also included music, and he actually released a single in the 1980s. He also worked extensively with shock-rocker Marilyn Manson, handling his tour in 2009, and working with pop princess Kylie Minogue in 2008.
A red carpet darling, his looks appear at almost every annual event of note, and he was also a former sponsor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual Costume Institute event, as well as the subject of a retrospective that toured museums around the world.
Of course, his focus is always fashion, and he currently has an array of labels that range from affordable off the rack styles to high-end haute couture. Categories include his Junior Ready to Wear, Women's Ready to Wear, Men's Ready to Wear, and Haute Couture. He also makes a collection of accessories, as well.
In addition to the fashion, there are also the fragrances. These include:
All of the Jean Paul Gaultier lines are available at high-end retailers and boutiques. Because he has remained a fashion icon throughout the years, choosing one of his scents or his fashion is a true expression of your taste and style. He remains fun and hip but also has a strong reputation for chic, and is a must have in any wardrobe or look.
JeanPaulGaultier.com. Fashion, Fragrances, Beauty. http://www.jeanpaulgaultier.com/en