From the uniform of the masses to the dreamlike fashions showcased in his runway shows, Jean-Paul Gaultier remains convinced that fashion will always have a special place in our lives: “It’s about a need for visual recognition, staking a claim.” But the couturier refuses to be defined as either political or provocative.
A man of conviction, he sees himself more as a revolutionary, systematically calling into question clichés, standards, codes, conventions and traditions. He turns, shifts and flips them around - even destroys them - in his bid to reinvent them.
Jean-Paul Gaultier is a benign voyeur, curious about everything and fascinated by difference.
Worlds untouched by the standardization of fashion are grounds for stylistic expression. By transposing, distorting and assembling, he succeeds in cross-border blending. As early as the Return of Prints collection (Women’s RTW Spring/Summer 1984), Gaultier was mixing the African and the European, draping his models in tunics or caftan miniskirts and accessorizing them with a fez.
"I always wanted to create collections for women of all different styles and ages, both in terms of couture and ready-to-wear."