Known as the “Enfant Terrible” to French fashion designers, and my own personal favorite, Jean Paul Gaultier is undoubtedly a designer that has remained true to himself and never gave into the commercialization of his own name or business.
Fashion today, is not easy for designers; there is too much pressure and competition. Not like before, when it was friendly—all about the product and designs. As Jean Paul Gaultier said in one of his interviews with WWD, “I love fashion but not the route it is taking.”
I recently read that he has stepped away from ready-to-wear and his actions have awakened many different opinions and thoughts in the fashion industry. Some see it as a “victory for commerce over art” (WWD) and others condemn his resolution.
Many are thinking that in an era of mega brands [quick and inexpensive clothes] with global stores and the over saturation of collaboration names, of all kinds, that it is actually the best action for mid-size companies—to revert back to the beginning of “the real fashion designers.”
I, myself, will be one to really miss his ready-to-wear collections. So it is here, that I pay tribute to a master and after all these years, that I personally followed him, a thank you note to a mentor and one of the most “Avant Garde” designers of our time, Jean Paul Gaultier.
On one of my travels to New York City, I made the time to visit Jean Paul Gaultier’s last exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, “From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”. I was in awe as he was clearly showing his influences in a way never before seen.
Beautiful mannequins were on display; their faces, projected, were designed to be interactive, animated and talking [organized by The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts].
I, myself, feel disappointed in many ways for the changes; sadden that we are all pushed onto this fast train that leaves us with no time to create what really goes on inside of our own imagination, our creative minds.
We cannot get off this train; for fear that we will be left behind. I think Jean Paul Gaultier’s actions, his decisions, are a wake-up call to the industry, or a wake-up call upon us—telling us to take the time, to stop and create.
I thank you Jean Paul Gaultier, for standing strong and for being true to yourself. You are really a chameleon of style and fashion who has never been afraid to show your true, inner self. You showed us the genuine meaning of being a designer, a creator and you have shown me the way, once again.
Congratulations! I salute you! Thank you for being a mentor, a designer who all of us can look up to.
This is the real life of Viviana G.
(All photos were taken by the author)