Jean Paul Gaultier Creates Camp-Laced Couture

Jean Paul Gaultier Creates Camp-Laced Couture

The design legend's couture showcase included cameos by Naomi Campbell and several nipples.

The design legend's couture showcase included cameos by Naomi Campbell and several nipples.

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

If all the world’s a stage, Jean Paul Gaultier should be in charge of the costumes. His cinematic flair was at full tilt last night at his Fall 2018 Couture showcase, which produced Norma-Desmond-meets-goth-Riviera realness with its bold and ebullient silhouettes. While the black-and-white palette, tailcoats and equestrian gear evoked the smoke-filled, bygone Golden Age, Gaultier also delivered campy pops of modernity—from men in floor-length skirts to ponytailed earrings to glittery platforms.  

Like anything Gaultier, the show was full of notable cameos. Iconic muses like Naomi Campbell, Rossy de Palma, and Farida Khelfa looked on from the front row, further blurring the line between where the pageantry began and ended. De Palma’s appearance followed her recent Gaultier campaign, which humorously sent up Cardi B’s Super Bowl Amazon ad, and brought Gaultier’s art house-inflected take on pop culture to life.   

But for all his escapism and lightheartedness, Gaultier was also able to deliver a political statement—albeit one couched in camp; at the show’s climax, model Sarah Donnealia and a male counterpart marched down the runway in matching transparent bustiers reading “Free the Nipple” and “Tetons Libres.” Pardon our French—or don't!

Catch a glimpse of the entire collection below. 

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Backstage at Jean Paul Gaultier Fall 2018 Couture