Oh My Goude!

Oh My Goude!

Legendary art director and image maker Jean-Paul Goude playfully reimagines Desigual.

Legendary art director and image maker Jean-Paul Goude playfully reimagines Desigual.

Photography: Jean-Paul Goude

Text: Alexandra Ilyashov

This article appears in the pages of V111, on newsstands now and available to order at vmagazineshop.com

Jean-Paul Goude is an O.G. multihyphenate: For decades, the creative force has indelibly impacted the fashion and advertising realms with his work as an illustrator, graphic designer, photographer, and filmmaker for esteemed brands like Chanel, Alaïa, and Hermès, as well as via his creatively fruitful relationship with Grace Jones. He’s also dabbled in lively fare like lensing Kenzo’s riotous, pattern-packed collaboration with H&M in 2016 and reinventing Lacoste’s signature alligator logo. But rejiggering the aesthetic of an entire fashion house is one of the very few roles he hadn’t taken on over the course of his lengthy career—until now, thanks to his recently appointed position as artistic director at Desigual.

Goude’s new post means that he’ll be lending his joyous signature aesthetic to the eccentric, color-saturated Spanish brand. He’s been tasked with refreshing the Barcelona-based label’s overall image, in addition to lending his vision to smaller-scale but ultra-tangible elements, like Desigual’s store design and advertising campaigns.

Adding to our excitement about Goude’s work with Desigual: He’s designing clothes for the brand, too—another first for Goude. In September, he unveiled a capsule collection for the label at New York Fashion Week, which will be available in select stores in February. Here, the visionary candidly discusses how he’s translated his own design hallmarks into a buoyant perspective for Desigual’s brand identity.

V: It’s January 2018 and Spring collections are hitting stores. How does it feel knowing that the pieces you created may actually be worn all over the world?

Jean-Paul Goude:  It’s an exciting prospect, but I’ll believe it when and if it happens. The clothes will not hit the stores before the end of February, and only then will I allow myself to either rejoice or lament. Yet the fact that what started as a jokey challenge has become a real collection—even if it’s only a capsule—is of course wonderful. But at the same time, it makes me dizzy, almost scared. I’ve never dealt with the business side of fashion, even though I’ve been involved with fashion all my life, through my magazine work, advertising, and various theatrically oriented gigs. This time it’s the real thing and it’s no joke.

V: Designers at leading houses are often called creative directors, and you are—without question—a creative director, but you worked with images before moving on to design with your new stint at Desigual. Has the transition been easy for you?

JPG: I would not call what is happening a transition; I’d rather think of it as a natural extension of what I’ve always done. This time, I’m more focused on clothes than on characters.

V:  There are many Jean-Paul Goude signature “codes,” like striped tops, sailor looks, or baggy pants. Are there other elements you want to point out that you brought to the collection that was shown?

JPG: It’s true that striped shirts and baggy pants have been my trademark for years. Why that particular silhouette? I can’t help it! I guess it’s in my DNA. This is why I didn’t hesitate to blatantly revise and possibly enhance it. Also, since–in my opinion–the “code,” as you call it, has never been well adapted to a line of clothing, I decided to move forward with my own off-the-wall version of it.

V: How did you accomplish this in your recent collection for Desigual?

JPG: It’s what we tried to do when we combined masculine tailoring with ultra-feminine can-can underpants or garment details like sailor collars with large, brightly colored shirts, bathing suits, and polka-dotted sneakers.

V:  What are some of the biggest highlights of the collection, in your opinion?

JPG: I like the beachwear stuff we produced: long Vietnamese-inspired, semi-transparent tunics, worn over a bathing suit, that suggest nudity in a very subtle way. Worn with our Korean-inspired summer straw hats, it’s as sexy and practical as it is elegant.

V: Any other favorite pieces you hope will be big successes in your Desigual capsule?

JPG: Hopefully everything!

CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES DESIGUAL

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