Now This Is a Major Fashion Moment
Designer Jean Paul Gaultier interviews Coco Rocha about catfights, male models – and playing for Team Coco.
In fashion it’s a given that every designer has a muse. For much of the last decade Jean Paul Gaultier, the Parisian designer who created Madonna’s cone bra in the late eighties, has found his inspiration in Canadian model Coco Rocha. Back in 2007 the then 18-year-old Rocha opened and closed Gaultier’s fall show by dancing a Celtic Irish jig down the runway. (Another year she played a mermaid!) The two have been friends ever since. Here, Gaultier and Rocha – who’s a new star judge on Oxygen’s model-competition show The Face, alongside Naomi Campbell and Karolina Kurkova – sit down to talk.
JEAN PAUL GAULTIER: Which was more difficult: coaching the girls for the competition or getting along with Naomi and Karolina?
COCO ROCHA: I think you know the answer to that.
JPG: Yes, I can imagine!
CR: When we first started shooting, we were like children on the first day of school. But two days into the show, you could definitely see that there was a competition among Team Naomi, Team Coco, and Team Karolina. We’re all fighting to win. We have three different personalities and our own concept of how a model should model, so you know it’s going to be a good show.
JPG: From what I saw, it seems like there was a bit of tension between Naomi and Karolina.
CR: There’s going to be tension in a lot of scenes.
JPG: Yes, yes yes! Especially with Naomi, she can be sometimes a little excited, no? Did you teach the girls how to Irish dance?
CR: No, I didn’t get to, but they knew that I could. Everyone always remembers my dancing.
JPG: I think you should teach male models how to walk. Some guys are very beautiful, but they walk like they’re embarrassed. It’s ridiculous.
CR: How do you choose a male model for your shows?
JPG: I want a male model version of you or Naomi or Karolina or Linda [Evangelista]. What makes you special is that you create so many different personalities. It’s boring when the models all walk exactly the same. Don’t you think?
CR: That’s why all of us like doing your show. You allow us to be whoever we want. These days we’re told to walk straight, don’t move, no emotion, no nothing. I want my team [on The Face] to play characters because it’s far more interesting. I have to say that you’re one of the only designers who likes to talk to his models and ask us about our opinions and what we’re thinking.
JPG: If there were no models, I couldn’t do my shows. You make my shows real – I love that.
- Rajni Lucienne Jacques