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The acclaimed French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier hosted his final haute couture show on Wednesday night in Paris. Last week, the 67-year-old announced that he was retiring from designing after 50 years in the business.
Among the models to take part in Gaultier’s final show were Gigi Hadid, Karen Elson, drag queen Violet Chachki and burlesque star Dita Von Teese.
Singer Boy George took to the catwalk at the end of the show in the Theatre Du Châtelet to take part in a mock ‘funeral’ and sang Culture Club hit, ‘In The Church of the Poisoned Mind” while Gaultier took his final bows.
The show was full of Gaultier’s irreverent humor and some of his classic motifs, including Breton blue stripes and corsets.
The gay fashion icon has often been described as the “enfant terrible” of French fashion. He began his career as an assistant for Pierre Cardin in 1970 and rose to worldwide fashion fame with the launch of his eponymous label in 1982. He introduced men’s skirts to fashion in the mid-80s.
Co-hosting the British TV show Eurotrash in the 1990s took his fame further, while his fragrances – in their distinctive male and female-sculpted bottles – are among the best-selling in the world.
Gaultier will probably be forever best-remembered for the conical bra and corset ensemble he designed for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour in 1990.
He reduced his design work in 2015, dropping his ready-to-wear collection and concentrating on haute couture only. His high-end label and perfumes will continue, but he will no longer work as a designer.
Among those to pay tribute to Gaultier was Elton John, who posted a photo to his Instagram of Gaultier attending his 50th birthday party.
“Best wishes to @jpgaultierofficial on your retirement from 50 glorious years in fashion,” said the singer. “So much talent, joy and innovation. You broke down so many barriers and challenged convention. The kindest heart and a great supporter of The Elton John AIDS Foundation.”
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Best wishes to @jpgaultierofficial on your retirement from 50 glorious years in fashion. So much talent, joy and innovation. You broke down so many barriers and challenged convention. The kindest heart and a great supporter of The Elton John AIDS Foundation. Here he is at my 50th Birthday in London. Hardly over the top dear…….!
Naomi Campbell said, “The impact and inspiration you have left on this industry is beyond words.”
So many years of incredible memories !! Every moment has been an absolute honor and pleasure ?? The impact and inspiration you have left on this industry is beyond words. Creative visionary. Industry leader. #LEGEND. Friend. ?? We love you @JPGaultier ? #50years pic.twitter.com/dgH56V3V2S
— Naomi Campbell (@NaomiCampbell) January 22, 2020