Today the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts opened their new exhibit "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier". Below is a snippet of the interview which was conducted with Jean Paul by Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony. The full interview is pretty comprehensive with lots of photos, videos, and subject matter dating back to Jean Paul's earlier days in fashion. Enjoy.
Happy belated birthday! What did you do to celebrate?
Thank you. I am on this detox diet at the moment, so I couldn’t even have my birthday cake – I just had a tiny slice.
What was your favorite birthday party of all time?
I don’t usually make a big fuss of my birthdays; it is something private and intimate. I did have a party for my fiftieth birthday, and I arrived in drag.
This year also marks the 35th anniversary of your first runway collection. And despite nearly 4 decades in the industry, your designs continue to feel new and fresh. How do you seek inspiration?
Inspiration is never a problem; I usually have too much of it. I sometimes want to say too many things at once. Everything I see can inspire me: the cinema, theater, music.
With Jean Paul Gaultier, you have cultivated a brand in a way that hadn’t been done previously, using a lifestyle approach that explored markets beyond standard ready-to-wear. How did this 360-degree view of fashion–which included home design, children’s wear, and beauty–come about? Did you learn about branding from your apprenticeship with Pierre Cardin at age 18?
No, I learned about freedom from Mr. Cardin. There was an absolute freedom in his studio. I would give him a drawing of an outfit, and he would say, “Great, you can do that now as furniture”. I worked for him in 1970, and he had just opened a theater, but he also did his shows there. He had assistants from all over the world–it was the first time I tried Japanese food with my colleagues from work. It was a great time, and it taught me that you have to have a free spirit to succeed.
Check out the entire article here