The sartorial world is bidding adieu to yet another one of its greats as Jean Paul Gaultier announced over the weekend the upcoming Spring/Summer 2020 show in Paris will be the last for the retiring designer. “This show celebrating 50 years of my career will also be my last,” tweeted Gaultier to the surprise of many both within the industry and out. “But rest assured Haute Couture will continue with a new concept.” The legendary French courtier established his own label in the late 70s with provocative collections and avant-garde shows (who can forget Madonna’s iconic cone bra?) that garnered him the nickname l‘enfant terrible. Ahead of his pending runway finale, Vogue Arabia pays tribute to the nine best moments of Gaultier’s career that paved a path for a new generation of creatives and continues to push the boundaries of fashion half a century later.
1. Marion Cottilard’s Oscar-worthy gown
It’s not every day a designer dresses an Academy-Award winning actor but, at the 2008 Oscars, Gaultier is the style icon of choice for French nominee Marion Cottilard who ends up victorious in the coveted Best Actress category for her leading role in La Vie En Rose and takes the stage in a contemporary fishtail gown.
2. Karlie Kloss “Vogue”s down the runway
An unforgettable Spring 2014 show became a mock dance competition with many of the industry’s top personalities shimmying their way down the runway, including model-turned-entrepreneur Karlie Kloss who chose the iconic Madonna track Vogue as her move of choice.
3. Kim Kardashian West‘s Midas touch
Although it may seem anything Kim Kardashian West touches turns to gold, her couture robe-style dress for the 2015 Grammy Awards was already a dazzling metallic hue, complete with glamorous beaded embellishments and a plunging neckline.
Since the Australian pop star and Gaultier have a longstanding relationship, with the costume designer behind many of her memorable tour ensembles, it came as no surprise when Kylie Minogue performed at the 2015 edition of the Dubai World Cup in a vibrant wrestling-inspired jumpsuit.
5. Naomi Campbell‘s floral finale
British supermodel Naomi Campbell strutted down the catwalk of the designer’s first SS15 show at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week since ending his ready-to-wear collections in a floral finale that was certifiably fresh.
6. Speaking about Farida Khelfa in honor of her Vogue Arabia cover
Reminiscing about the decades-spanning relationship between him and Algerian trailblazer Farida Khelfa, the French mastermind shared fond memories of the Vogue Arabia October 2017 cover star, including her walking his shows as his muse and creating a documentary about him. “To understand and recognize your past and to be proud of it is rare – and she has every reason to be proud,” said Gaultier during the interview. Farida is someone who really mattered in my life and still matters very much to me today. I hope we will continue to amuse ourselves.”
7. Winnie Harlow turns heads at Cannes
Former Vogue Arabia cover star Winnie Harlow dons an elegant red asymmetric gown on the steps of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, catapulting her to the top of many best-dressed lists and capturing the attention of most onlookers with a dramatic swish of her wrist.
8. Pop royalty at the 2019 AMAs
9. Irina Shayk‘s “scandalous” campaign
Russian model Irina Shayk became the latest face of Gaultier’s signature fragrance Scandal in a monochromatic campaign that exudes pure feminine power.