If you can’t be in the City of Light for Paris Fashion Week, a day dream tour of the city with Jean Paul Gualtier is the next best thing.
Lucky New York Times’ writer Henry Alford experienced what stateside fashion fans can only fantasize about. He visited everywhere from the Moulin Rouge to the Musee Grevin under Gaultier’s instructions, and ate at the Eiffle Tower with the legend himself.
“We go to a cliché, but a fabulous cliché that I love,” Gaultier told the writer before their dinner at the monument Gaultier has used in both his clothing and jewelry. “It’s like lace,” he said. “Like metallic lace.”
Gaultier took inspiration from the costumes of the Folies Bergère and the Moulin Rouge at an early age.
“Then I did a revue with my teddy bear at home,” he said. “I pretended he had breasts. The first cone bra I did was for my teddy bear, not for Madonna. I had a strawberry box for the stage, and I put a lot of feathers on my teddy bear for the headdress. I used feathers from my cleaning brush for the finale.”
Another spot that stokes Gaultier’s genius is the flea market at Clignancourt.
“The old fabrics are sometimes nicer than the new ones. One time I bought the jacket of a fat man, and I put that jacket on a girl because I liked the fabric,” Gaultier said. “I took it in, and I rolled up the sleeves. I made a new silhouette.”