JEAN PAUL GAULTIER: From the sidewalk to the catwalk. A visionary’s declination

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MUNICH: Today the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition “From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” opened at the Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Theatinerstrasse 8 in Munich (until 14.Feb.2016). We enjoyed listening to Jean Paul Gaultier’s view on certain topics and were amused, inspired and charmed by his vision.

I was not particular popular in school because I was really bad in football. I was 8 years old when I saw Les Folies Bergère on TV. That inspired me. I was sketching the Folies Bergère Girls, nude of course. My teacher was very upset, but from that moment on all my schoolmates really liked me.

I started to draw, to illustrate, without any education, by looking at the magazines, create own couture show, everything illustrated. When I was 18 years old, a friend of my parents worked at a magazine. She liked the illustrations and I had my first publication.

I was too shy to go and present my sketches in person. So I sent them to all the great couturiers, like Saint Laurent etc. One day Pierre Cardin invited me to come and present my drawings. First I didn’t want to go, I was so shy. Horrible! But finally I went with my mother and I got the job.

Cardin wanted to have the fashion show like a real show, like a movie. That’s how I learned to created spectacles, with models like movie stars.
Always being inspired by things that are different — you can see that in all my shows. Look at the people I worked with. Many of them were not real models, but people with a special aura and look.

I choose my models more individually. Not the usual types. They must have a certain look. Like Nadja Auermann, that statuesque German supermodel I absolutely adore. Or Farida Khelfa, who used to work at the front door of Le Bain Douche, a night club in Paris where she decided who could get in or who didn’t. She was so inspiring, a very strong chic women. Movement is also very important. To move is to live!
Conchita Wurst, fabulous. He is so well groomed and dressed and then there is the beard. She is like a piece of art.

When I was working with Madonna it was more a collaboration, we were understanding each other 100%. That is very rare. Because she usually wants to control everything. She reflected exactly the kind of women, that I had in mind. The corsage worked brilliantly with the gentleman suit. Very strong.

Lust auf Kochen? Kochen mal ganz anders?

My mother had a corset that was beautiful and she always said you need to have a structure. The corset helps you to go straight, it supports your body, your spine.

In 1976 I created my first collection without any financial backing. All the family helped me to create my first show, my concierge was sewing and a lot of top models I was friends with walked the show for free. Everybody made it happen.

What I admire about photographers is that they show you something that nobody else saw before, with their vision. Quite often I am disappointed when I see a dress in reality. It may look so much better on a picture. Peter Lindberg is especially great in doing that.