After 50 years, legendary couturier Jean Paul Gaultier is taking his final bow on the runway. His last show will take place in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet on January 22.
The designer announced his departure on social media with a light-hearted video that also hinted at his future plans. While the spring/summer 2020 collection will be the last, Gaultier noted that he will be staying with the brand and that haute couture will go on with a new concept.
From the cone bustier made famous by Madonna to the sci-fi extravagance of The Fifth Element, we look back on five of the designer’s biggest moments.
1983: The Cone Bra
The corset conique, a Gaultier piece synonymous with Madonna, made its first appearance on the runway in 1983. After it was worn by the pop singer during her Blonde Ambition tour in 1990, the corset became an emblematic feature in multiple Gaultier collections.
1983: The Marinière is Born
The classic striped sailor shirt was introduced at Gaultier’s first ready-to-wear collection for men, and inspired by the designer’s childhood wardrobe and 1983 drama film Querelle.
1997: The Fifth Element
Gaultier designed the wardrobe for the 1997 sci-fi flick, The Fifth Element, which starred Bruce Willis and supermodel Milla Jovovich. His boundary-pushing and decidedly sexy take on futuristic dressing was nominated for two best costume design awards.
2019: The Fashion Freak Show
Burlesque star Dita Von Teese made a guest appearance in Gaultier’s Fashion Freak Show, donning a stunning butterfly-inspired corset. Part revue and part musical, the production was the designer’s homage to pop culture.
1996 (and 2019): Safe Sex Forever
Bella Hadid’s Met Gala after-party outfit featured one of the designer’s most famous and personal prints: “Safe Sex Forever.” The motif referenced the AIDS epidemic of the ’90s; Gaultier was one of the first mainstream designers to call attention to the crisis.
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