Scandalous, fun, provocative, exuberant, and of course, sexy are just some of the stand-out terms describing Jean Paul Gaultier’s quirky take on fashion.
And the French couture icon’s “Fashion Freak Show” was no different when it premiered in London on Tuesday.
The all-singing, all-dancing, cabaret-esque spectacle inspired by the life and career of the legendary fashion mastermind made its debut in the British capital.
And on what was the hottest day recorded in history in the UK, it’s only fitting that Gaultier unleashed his hot and steamy show onto the world’s stage.
The show, written and directed by the fashion icon himself, features over 200 of his original couture pieces.
Since its debut in 2018, the show has attracted over 250,000 spectators with vibrant storytelling spanning 50 years of Gaultier’s life.
Known for his passion for embracing the aging body and everything that comes with it, Gaultier said some past fashion faux pas he took a strong disliking are actually starting to grow on him.
“When denim gets older, it gets better. It’s the same with us, the older we get the better we look,” Gaultier exclusively told Page Six.
“The fashion world is always changing, there is so much evolution and so many new things keep happening. I realize some things that I hated in the past I started thinking they are not that bad after a year or so. I keep getting inspired by styles I used to dislike before,” Gaultier added.
Beginning with his childhood before moving into his fashion debut in 1976, the two-hour show focuses on the designer’s professional and personal life.
Gaultier also documents his work with pop culture icons such as Madonna, Rihanna, and Carla Bruni.
The cabaret extravaganza is accompanied by a stellar playlist of songs that inspired Gaultier’s work and is full of sexual bravado, with tons of nudity and scenes of sexual nature that tell the story of Gaultier’s risqué side.
Among those in attendance was British pop band Culture Club’s frontman and fashion icon Boy George.
Credited as one of Gaultier’s main inspirations in the 80s, the “Karma Chameleon” hitmaker has shared a close bond with the fashion powerhouse.
“I really love his clothes,” Boy George exclusively told Page Six. “There are just so many things I love about them. I’ve been to so many shows over the years in Paris and London and I just remember so many elements of his art. It’s nice to have these reference points,” the singer noted.”
Boy George revealed the decades-long friendship through fashion he and Gaultier built over the years.
“I just love him, he’s got great style, so brilliant,” he continued. “I’ve copied everything he’s done and I will continue to. I’m taking notes of everything tonight and thinking, ‘Yeah, I’m bringing that back!’”
The “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” singer said he was somewhat of a muse for Gaultier’s timeless creations.
“Jean Paul used to come to London and look at what we were doing and he used to say that to me all the time in the 80s,” Boy George told Page Six.
“He came to London for inspiration, and you can see that in his work and his music choices like the Sex Pistols. But when you’re a genius person, you don’t need to be inspired because the world is inspiring on a 24/7 basis.”
And indeed the Grammy Award-winning singer was right.
Gaultier admitted the British look is a style he forecasts to come back into the mainstream.
“I predict that the Spice Girls look is coming back. It’s already starting to make its way back,” he said of the iconic platform-heeled boots and mini dresses. “For my couture collection, Olivier Rousteing did similar platforms with a conservative take on it.”
Since retiring from haute couture in 2020, Gaultier invited fashion designers to share their takes on his signature pieces from the past.
Balmain’s creative director Rousteing earlier this month presented his first haute couture collection for Gaultier, which featured a selection of platform boots that are rumored to be making a comeback.
Gaultier thanked Boy George for being an influence on his fashion in the 80s, putting him up with the likes of Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury and Madonna.
Gaultier’s show peels deeper layers of the beauty industry, particularly the controversy surrounding anti-aging surgeries.
The show somewhat criticized the evolution of plastic surgery, which Gaultier admits has gone “too far.”
“Plastic surgery has always existed, but today society is going extreme,” he told reporters on the red carpet Tuesday.
“Wrinkles can also be beautiful. Don’t think there is any judgment. If it’s a choice it’s wonderful. But as far as I’m concerned, I’m not sure… As I consider myself from another generation, more influenced by TV and tabloids, I find the ‘me, myself, and I’ thing on social media very amusing.”