PARIS, Jan 22 (Reuters) - From models to designers to stars of the drag scene, the great and good of the fashion world flocked on Wednesday to Jean Paul Gaultier’s last ever catwalk show in Paris.
Known for his outlandish creations, and an irreverent sense of humour that set him apart in the often snooty world of fashion, Gaultier is celebrating 50 years in the business as well as his swansong.
“There’s only one Jean Paul Gaultier, or people inspired by him,” said model Laetitia Casta ahead of the show.
Casta, clad in a vintage Gaultier blue jean and mesh outfit, was discovered at 15 by the French designer, at an eclectic casting where she said she mingled with punks and felt lost at first.
“He was one of the first to go out into the street to find people.”
Gaultier’s one-time design mentor Pierre Cardin, 97, was among the guests at the Châtelet theatre in Paris, where the stage was transformed into a runway.
Gaultier, 67, announced last week that the fashion show would be his last, and has yet to detail what his plans were or whether a successor would be named to carry the brand forward.
He only said the label, owned by family-owned Spanish fashion and fragrance group Puig, would carry on.
The designer has long revelled in his reputation image as fashion’s “enfant terrible”, or bad boy.
He emerged as one of the brightest young talents in French fashion during the early 1980s, shaking up the establishment with wild designs drawn from street culture, punk and the gay club scene, as well as religious iconography.
He has long embraced the world of show business, and most famously dressed singer Madonna in a conic bra and bustier on her “Blonde Ambition” tour in 1990. (Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Hugh Lawson)