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JEAN PAUL GAULTIER


Jean Paul Gaultier has been one of the biggest names in fashion for decades. Launching his brand in 1982, he almost immediately became known as the "enfant terrible" of fashion. Gaultier was exploring trends and ideas that many others found absurd at the time. Some of these trends include skirts for men, sheer "tattoo" tops, and cone bras. He uses his sense of humor to bring up very real subliminal messages, including gender attitudes, social values, and cultural morality.

Gaultier grew up in Paris' outskirts, in a little area known as Arcueil, with his grandmother. Uninfluenced by the beauty and glamour coming out of Paris's heart, Arcueil established itself as a working-class town. Marie Garrabe, his grandmother from Arcueil, gave beauty advice and practiced fortune-telling. Gaultier spent time at his grandmother's house every week, and this is where Gaultier began drawing. Gaultier drew the women who visited his grandmother, stating that "I would draw them, according to my imagination, I wanted them to look - in evening gowns, perhaps with incredible hairstyles."

Television began Gaultier's journey into fashion. His grandmother let him watch programs forbidden to the other children. Here he saw outfits that he could not even comprehend. He began drawing figures wearing different outfits he saw on TV. Gaultier began to get so invested in drawing that he would pretend to be sick to sketch all day. Fashion, in Gaultier's eyes, was haute couture. He adored exclusivity, the high-end fashion, the expensive materials, and garment placement. By the end of schooling, Gaultier produced hundreds of drawings a week. He was creating entire collections by hand, trying to imagine how Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent were doing it. This marked the beginning of the enfant terribles career.

Written by Henry White



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