Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Jean Paul Gaultier Biography

By Jo Craven Vogue

Jean Paul Gaultier's stripy Breton t-shirt, kilt and bleached hair may be his Gallic trademark but his style draws more from the London street scene than Parisian couture.

He has lived through Eurotrash - the Nineties sleaze-fest TV show - Madonna in his conical bra on her Blonde Ambition tour in 1990, several successful eponymous perfumes, and even created corsets for men. Possibly his finest hour, however, is in haute couture where season after season he delivers flights of fantasy. In 2003 he took on the job of creative director for Hermes - bringing a vigour and humour to that most classic of brands.

• Jean Paul Gaultier started his career in 1970 as a design assistant at Pierre Cardin, before going to Jean Patou and then setting up his own label in 1976
• In July 1999, Hermes invested $15 million in his business as part of a deal which Gaultier described as "a dream marriage"
• He designed costumes for Peter Greenaway's The Cook, The Thief, his Wife and her Lover (1989), Pedro Almodovar's Kika (1994) and Luc Besson's The Fifth Element (1997)
• Gaultier has been awarded the title of Chevalier, one of France's highest honours

Although technically brilliant, Gaultier has always taken great delight in parodying the fashion establishment to great success. Whether it's a collection covered in camouflage print or David Beckham in a sarong, he knows how to have the last laugh.

Jean Paul Gaultier, rue Saint Antoine, Paris 75012
Tel: +33 1 44 68 85 00
Fax: +33 1 44 68 85 10