We could not be more here for this.
Jean Paul Gaultier designed Madonna’s iconic Blond Ambition cone bra, invented the man skirt, and, tragically, lost his partner Francis Menuge to AIDS in 1990. Gaultier has lived a life, and now his life is coming to the stage at no better place than Les Folies Bergère.
The designer’s first stage production, “Fashion Freak Show,” is scheduled to open at the Folies Bergère on Oct. 2, 2018. Described as “somewhere between a revue and a fashion show,” the show will be based on Gaultier’s life story, beginning with him as a young boy, watching footage of the Folies Bergère on his grandmother’s black-and-white TV to becoming Pierre Cardin’s studio assistant at 18, to the debut of his first man skirt in his spring ‘84 “Boy Toy” collection.
The catalyst for the show, Gaultier told WWD, was designing over 500 costumes for the Berlin revue, The One Grand Show, in 2016. The show will weave video, dialogue and song, and will feature guest appearances from friends like Dita Von Teese. In a very exciting move, Madonna’s cone bra will also make a cameo, alongside a mix of new Gaultier creations and archive pieces.
Gaultier has worked with an impressively diverse group, from designing the costumes for Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In to making a short film with Kylie Minogue. Many of those collaborations will be featured in the show soundtracked by disco, punk, New Wave, and more. The couturier talked to WWD about the inspiration behind the show.
“For me, difference is beautiful, there is not only one beauty, and in a collection I always like to show mixed directions,” Gaultier said. “When you’re a kid, at least that’s how it was in my day, you’re not conditioned, you don’t see perversity, there’s a state of innocence where everything is beautiful, you see differently….I am lucky because I am doing now what I dreamt of doing as a child, and I like to think that I’ve retained a childlike state of mind.”