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  • Jean Paul Gaultier s/s 2015

  • Jean Paul Gaultier s/s 2015

  • Jean Paul Gaultier with Catherine Deneuve and Farida Khelfa

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Gaultier says goodbye to prêt-à-porter with a magnificent show during Paris Fashion Week

Jean Paul Gaultier presented some days ago in Paris his last prêt-à-porter collection, after deciding to close down both his women’s and men’s ready-to-wear departments and focus solely on haute couture and perfumes. His decision came as a surprise to many of his numerous fans and admirers that couldn’t believe that their favorite designer was actually putting an end to his 38 year old career in prêt-à-porter. Jean Paul Gaultier, who is considered to be one of the innovators of French fashion, told WWD about his decision: “For some time, I have found true fulfillment in working on the haute couture and it allows me to express my creativity and my taste for research and experimentation. At the same time, the world of ready-to-wear has evolved considerably. Commercial constraints, as well as the frenetic pace of collections, don’t leave any freedom or the necessary time to find fresh ideas and to innovate.”

Gaultier decided to say goodbye to prêt-à-porter with an extravagant show that was held at Le Grand Rex Cinema in Paris, inviting the fashion crowd to participate in the election of “Miss Jean Paul Gaultier 2015”. The show was divided in different categories, all with evocative names like “Miss Tour de France”, “Miss Meteo” or “Miss Footballer’s Wife”, and included imaginative reinterpretations of his all-time greatest hits, from his legendary cone-shaped bras and asymmetrical tuxedo jackets to his all-over printed dresses and iconic navy stripes. Gaultier didn’t forget to pay tribute to the fashion editors that have supported him during his prolific career, sending models down the runway mimicking the looks of French Vogue’s Emmanuelle Alt, Italian Vogue’s Franca Sozzani, US Vogue’s Grace Coddington, former French Vogue’s editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld and Vogue’s fashion journalist Suzy Menkes. As for the show’s finale, Coco Rocha and Anna Cleveland were crowned as winners, with Gaultier making his last appearance under a shower of gold confetti.

Among the fellow designers and friends that attended the show were Catherine Deneuve, Pierre Cardin, Alber Elbaz, Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh, Jeremy Scott, Walter Van Beirendonck, Alexander Wang, Farida Khelfa, Jean-Paul Goude and Boy George. Alber Elbaz said after the show: “We’re one big family in fashion, not just collaborators. It’s an important moment for me to be here tonight for Jean Paul, for fashion, and for Paris. He represents a history of know-how and fun and rebellion and creativity, and all the best of fashion – daring and moving forward, pushing fashion and going to limits that sometimes we’re afraid to go to.” Catherine Deneuve also told WWD: “I’ve known him for a long time and I like him a lot. I also admire him. He does things with extraordinary savoir-faire and always with a lot of imagination. It’s really wonderful to remain so young at heart.” As for Jean Paul Gaultier, far from being pessimist, he celebrated the end of an era, keeping his eyes on the future: “This is a new beginning; I will be able to express again my creativity fully and without constraints.”