V Legends: Jean-Paul Goude

V Legends: Jean-Paul Goude

For the 100th Issue, V pays homage to the editors, image-makers, and rule-breakers who have shaped the magazines. You can call them legends.

For the 100th Issue, V pays homage to the editors, image-makers, and rule-breakers who have shaped the magazines. You can call them legends.

Photography: Jean-Paul Goude

Text: William Defebaugh

When beloved art director, image-maker, and French national hero Jean-Paul Goude steps behind the camera, it is not merely to capture a subject, but a world of his own creation. He crafts each individual detail of his elaborate settings until they are perfected to his exact liking, while offering his subjects the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a role that he has conceived well in advance (with sketches that are almost as detailed as the end product).

For his V80 cover story with Scarlett Johansson, he transformed the actress into a Hitchcock heroine, recreating the infamous Psycho shower scene. He captured the unimpeachable Janet Jackson for the cover of V47, wearing nothing but jeans and ornate couture headdresses by Givenchy and Dior, resulting in some of the most provocative images of the superstar to date.

“The steamy atmosphere of this Janet Jackson shoot for v a few years ago has to be one of my fondest souvenirs," recalls Goude. "Not only did it allow me to discover a delightfully sensitive and humble ‘diva’–which in itself is exceptional–it gave me a rare opportunity to experience and appreciate her overwhelming sex appeal.”

Of course, we can’t forget Goude’s V57 cover story, for which he reunited with his long time collaborator Grace Jones, transforming the pair’s palpable chemistry into one of the magazine’s most widely-referenced covers (Sam Smith, for one, called it an all-time favorite). It is emblematic of everything V stands for: legendary forces coming together in the name of art and fashion.

This is an excerpt from V Legends: a special supplement to V100. To read the full compendium, order your copy of V100 here, or pick up your copy of the issue on stands now.

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