In an interview with French Radio London — which French speakers can listen to here — Jean Paul Gaultier discusses his blockbuster exhibit, "From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk," which recently opened in London after touring for three years. "Every time it goes to a different city, this exhibit changes," he said. "To simply exhibit the first, second, and third collection with the corresponding elements wouldn't be very interesting," Gaultier explained. "With this exhibit, I was able to go further and do something that was a new adventure — like one super-collection with the best elements — and not show them in a chronological way, but instead by theme." (E.g., sailor stripes and tattoos.) For this London exhibit at the Barbican Centre, he expanded the section on his muses, which include Beth Ditto and Dita Von Teese.
While we already know that Gaultier made a cone bra for his teddy bear, apparently the obsession went further than that: "I wanted a doll, but when I was a boy that wasn't really done," he said. "The teddy bear, I transformed. I put conical papier mâché breasts on it. And then I made this teddy bear live through everything that was going on at the time. When King Baudouin of Belgium married [Queen] Fabiola [in 1960], I dressed it in a bridal gown like Fabiola's," which he sewed himself, naturally. He even re-enacted the first heart transplant, done by Dr. Christiaan Barnard in 1967, on the bear. "I operated, but I couldn't go near the breasts because of the conical breasts, so I went in at the intestines."
Gaultier also chatted about the appealingly flawed muses he's been drawn to over the years. “For me, there is no such thing as 'the perfect woman,'" he said. "What certain people call imperfection is exactly what I find charming and interesting. I would say there are no perfect women. That's not at all my area of interest. People with an unusual-looking nose, interesting hair, or a little bit of disharmony — that's what is interesting and beautiful. I try to see beauty in places where other people aren't in the habit of looking. The important thing is to know how to open your eyes."
When culture editor-in-chief Maïa Morgensztern asked him what his dream is, the designer quipped, "Retirement," then explained: "I'd like to diminish the number of collections I do, because with pre-collections I do 12 a year." He's also interested in "collaborating again with film, theater, musical projects, things like that." Please let this mean he will once again be dressing the contestants in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Note: The quotes in this interview have been translated from the original French.
Most Viewed Stories
Mary-Kate Olsen Strains Every Muscle in Her Face in an Attempt to Smile
The Fashion Executive Who Doesn’t Wear Underwear on Dates
25 Famous Women on Being Alone
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Prince George Has No Time for Justin Trudeau’s High Fives
How Angelina Jolie Won the First Big Battle in Her Divorce
It’s Time to Get Over Your White Feelings and Start Taking Action for Black Lives
The Will & Grace Reunion Was Intensely Documented for Social Media
Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of September 26
Los Angeles Police Confirm Active Criminal Investigation Against Derrick Rose
From Our Partners
The Zoe Report
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.