It is definitely the end of an era as the world just witnessed Jean Paul Gaultier’s last couture show.
While we’re only at the tail-end of the snail-paced first month of the year, we’re already bidding goodbye to one of fashion’s best. It is a bittersweet moment as we watch another epoch of a great couturier come to close. After being in the global fashion scene for 50 years now, the French king of couture, Jean Paul Gaultier, takes his final bow with a spectacular runway show—packed to the brim with models and personalities as iconic as him, no less.
Famed for his no-holds-barred point-of-view in the world of couture, Jean Paul Gaultier initially gained recognition after constantly dissecting and reinventing the classics such as the infamous corsets Madonna wore during her prime. With his take on excess, fantasy, and attitude, this paved the way for him to earn the moniker “enfant terrible” of French fashion.
Much to the surprise of the world, it was only exactly a week ago when Gaultier announced that his 50th anniversary will already be his last. On Twitter, he shared a video wherein he was casually talking (in French) to someone, and said: “this will be my last Haute Couture show.” Shocking.
One Last Dance
When Gaultier mentioned on his video that his exit show was going to be “quite a party with many friends,” he was not kidding. Come the fateful day, there were a handful of celebrities together with supermodels who walked and attended his couture show at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
He impeccably opened his show with the funeral scene from William Klein’s cult 1966 fashion film, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? When the curtain was lifted, a group of sophisticated mourners struck a pose on a grand white staircase while Boy George sang the Amy Winehouse song, Back to Black.
For almost two hours, everyone just kept cheering non-stop. He magnificently showed his great craft with glamorous upcycled pieces that were no less than 230 looks. As the show progressed, his all-star cast of supermodels emerged—from Erin O’Connor, Coco Rocha, the Hadid sisters, and even Farida Khelfa, his former muse and couture director.
Nevertheless, his swansong haute couture show was a true testament of his expertise in over-the-top showstopping couture. But even if with the advent of his fashion twilight, he mentioned that “Gaultier Paris and Haute Couture continues! I have a new concept I’ll tell you about later.”
So, while his couture 2020 show may be his last, it looks like Gaultier will be reborn into a bigger and better brand. While we wait for what comes next from this perceived beginning of an end, we will still carry on pay homage to the great Jean Paul Gaultier.