Lovely industry insight into the wonderful world of my friend Jean Paul Gaultier in The New York Times. His final Ready-To-Wear show is truly the end of an era! Xx

Jean Paul Gaultier’s Shows, the Clothes, the Man and His HeritageBy JOHN KOBLIN and MATTHEW SCHNEIER SEPT. 23, 2014The news that JPG was shutting down his ready-to-wear business, with his last collection scheduled to be shown on Saturday in Paris, prompted recollections from industry notables who have long considered Mr. Gaultier one of the most original people in fashion — both on and off the runway.The ShowsThierry-Maxime Loriot, curator, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”: “He pushed barriers of fashion and society and showed an open vision of society. Everybody was always welcome on his catwalk — whatever age, body shape, skin color, gender … there’s something very humanist in his approach to fashion. For me, that’s the most important thing.”Franca Sozzani, editor of Italian Vogue: “The ’80s and the ’90s were really his years. When we were going to Paris, Jean Paul Gaultier was the one you go to see.”Tim Blanks, editor at large, Style.com: “He was absolutely peerless for the longest time in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Each show was an absolutely remarkable hybrid of fashion and social comment. The sense of event that surrounded fashion was very different from the sense of event that surrounds it now. It was much more like a cult band inspiring this incredible devotion. The crowd would be full of drag queens and cult rock stars and things.”Marian McEvoy, European fashion editor at Women’s Wear Daily, 1975-90: “When he first began, like so many designers, he wasn’t rolling in the big bucks, so he would give out favors. His Christmas presents were really unusual. One of his first collections, he gave all the people in the audience very large, metallic bracelets that were actually tin cans. It was so funny. We were all wearing this tin can for about a week.”Ken Downing, fashion director of Neiman Marcus: “The theater and the drama always made those Gaultier shows. I liked the show where there were bales of hay everywhere. And the models came out with hay in their hair. And as they were traversing through all of it, the dust from the hay was kicking up and we were all getting a little weepy and not because the fashion was so moving but because our eyes were filling with dust from the straw. It was one of those moments.”Simon Doonan, creative ambassador, Barneys New York: “If you look at his old shows, they were often about 45 minutes long, which today is unthinkable. You have eight minutes of choreographed efficiency today. People would be terrified to have a show run for that length. I can still remember going to Gaultier shows, with incense and clanging bells and people laughing. It was a completely different atmosphere to the shows today, which are very militaristic.”Michelle Stein, president, Aeffe USA (Aeffe held the Jean Paul Gaultier license from 1994 to 2012): “I was always just breathless at the end of every show and hoping that everyone in the audience was as excited as I was, which was not always the case. When People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) stormed the runway [at the fall 2003 show], the people at Gaultier were prepared! The security was out with these massive fur coats, and they jumped up on the runway and wrapped these people in the fur coats and off the runway! Oh my god, it was crazy.”The ClothesThierry-Maxime Loriot: “When you see Gaultier clothes, you don’t even need to look at the label. You just recognize it immediately.”Marian McEvoy: “There was a real rapport with the streets, right from the very beginning. I think that’s where he gleaned a lot of his ideas, straight from the street, not an idea or a travelogue.”Simon Doonan: “Years ago, Madonna loaned us at Barneys the pointy-bra, gold ‘Blonde Ambition’ corset. It was the most beautifully made thing I’ve ever seen in my life. It took us hours to unlace it and get it onto a mannequin. It was a piece of exquisite craftsmanship.”Linda Fargo, senior vice president, Bergdorf Goodman: “That cone bra? That’s something he started as a boy. There was a teddy bear that he had and he actually made, out of paper or something, on his teddy bear. What was he, 5 or 6? And he was already dreaming about a cone bra on a bear.”The ManMarian McEvoy: “He had a wonderful sense of playfulness, humor was a big part of his look and his style. But he was clearly a very solid fashion designer. It was highly unusual. I guess if you think that his contemporaries at that moment were people like Thierry Mugler and Claude Montana — let’s just say they took themselves much more seriously.”Coco Rocha, model: “He was one who treated models like human beings. I know that sounds ridiculous, but sometimes you go to castings and they don’t know your name, you’re just there to wear the clothes. Gaultier, you will go to his atelier and he has food and he wants to sit down with you. He even took me out to his rooftop to watch the sunset. He takes time with his models and let’s them know what the whole show is about. We feel more creative. You want to do good for him. You don’t want to just walk down the runway.”The ProvocateurHamish Bowles, Vogue’s international editor at large, who as the 25-year-old fashion director of Harpers & Queen, walked the runway in Mr. Gaultier’s fall 1989 show, after a chance encounter a few months earlier in Riccione, Italy, where the collection was being produced: “Jean Paul had a party bus for his team and one night we went from mega disco to mega disco, which was cheesy fun. Very late, that tipsy night, his general factotum and press guy Lionel Vermeil said to me, ‘Jean Paul has been thinking that he’d really like you to be in his next women’s show … would you consider it?’ Naturally, I was thrilled beyond and immediately said, ‘Yes, yes, yes,’ at which point Lionel added, ‘The show is inspired by ’20s Weimar lesbians.’“I hadn’t told a soul and there was only a very slow realization in the audience that it was me — largely I think because on my first exit I really camped it up doing exaggerated ‘Paris is Burning’ runway moves (which happily have been eviscerated from the only YouTube video I could find), whilst everyone else had got the dour Weimar brief and came stomping out looking surly. So there was no mistaking me. Before I went out a second time, Jean Paul instructed me to tone down the moves, which was just as well as the pants under my kilt had been taken out too much after the fitting and started sliding down my then snake-like hips in mid shimmy — so my statelier gait helped avoid an international incident as one hand on hip was effectively keeping the pants up. I don’t think anyone could believe that I’d actually done it but it was all part of JPG’s revolutionary gender-bender antics.”His LegacyMichelle Stein: “The whole industry has changed so much since Jean Paul began, but he’s just one of the best designers who have ever lived. It’s so sad to think that the general public will no longer have the opportunity to see the ready to wear, nor to wear it. I still go into my closet and my favorite pieces in my wardrobe are Jean Paul Gaultier.”Thierry-Maxime Loriot: “When you see who was assisting him, from Martin Margiela to Nicolas Ghesquière to Peter Dundas, who have all been Gaultier’s assistants, you really see in their work how they’ve been influenced by him. He left a big print in the fashion industry.”Linda Fargo: “For me, Jean Paul Gaultier was part of my awakening in fashion. There’s a handful of designers that did that for me.”Coco Rocha: Gaultier, along with Steven Meisel, made my career. Meisel was the one who found me, scouted me, made me. Gaultier? He made me Irish dance down the runway in 2007. Every day I’m reminded by someone who says, ‘You were the girl that Irish-danced down Gaultier’s runway.’ People remember that.”Simon Doonan: “Often fashion today feels a little bit abstract. You look at these very expensive, complicated collections that are shown by high-level designers and you think, ‘I wonder who’s going to wear that.’ With Gaultier, the models were wearing it, the editors were wearing it, and the general public was wearing it — or wearing some version of it that was mass-produced.”Tim Blanks: “I think there was a sense for a very long time that JPG would be the heir to Yves Saint Laurent, that he was the standard-bearer for French fashion at its purest. It was so obvious that Gaultier should be the designer at Dior. Galliano got the job and I remember people were quite surprised by that.”Stefano Tonchi, editor of W magazine: “I think he invented streetwear in prêt-à-porter. He brought it there. Now, really, it doesn’t quite exist anymore. Prêt-à-porter is couture. The prices, the look, the things that you see at prêt-à-porter collections are really couture. It’s like beautiful couture pieces made in multiples.”Anna Wintour, editor in chief of American Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast: “He’s always been a showman. I do think that recently his whole emphasis has been much more on the couture and having fun with the couture. I don’t think we’re going to lose that Gaultier moment.”

Lovely industry insight into the wonderful world of my friend Jean Paul Gaultier in The New York Times. His final Ready-To-Wear show is truly the end of an era! Xx

Jean Paul Gaultier’s Shows, the Clothes, the Man and His Heritage
By JOHN KOBLIN and MATTHEW SCHNEIER SEPT. 23, 2014

The news that JPG was shutting down his ready-to-wear business, with his last collection scheduled to be shown on Saturday in Paris, prompted recollections from industry notables who have long considered Mr. Gaultier one of the most original people in fashion — both on and off the runway.

The Shows

Thierry-Maxime Loriot, curator, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”: “He pushed barriers of fashion and society and showed an open vision of society. Everybody was always welcome on his catwalk — whatever age, body shape, skin color, gender … there’s something very humanist in his approach to fashion. For me, that’s the most important thing.”

Franca Sozzani, editor of Italian Vogue: “The ’80s and the ’90s were really his years. When we were going to Paris, Jean Paul Gaultier was the one you go to see.”

Tim Blanks, editor at large, Style.com: “He was absolutely peerless for the longest time in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Each show was an absolutely remarkable hybrid of fashion and social comment. The sense of event that surrounded fashion was very different from the sense of event that surrounds it now. It was much more like a cult band inspiring this incredible devotion. The crowd would be full of drag queens and cult rock stars and things.”

Marian McEvoy, European fashion editor at Women’s Wear Daily, 1975-90: “When he first began, like so many designers, he wasn’t rolling in the big bucks, so he would give out favors. His Christmas presents were really unusual. One of his first collections, he gave all the people in the audience very large, metallic bracelets that were actually tin cans. It was so funny. We were all wearing this tin can for about a week.”

Ken Downing, fashion director of Neiman Marcus: “The theater and the drama always made those Gaultier shows. I liked the show where there were bales of hay everywhere. And the models came out with hay in their hair. And as they were traversing through all of it, the dust from the hay was kicking up and we were all getting a little weepy and not because the fashion was so moving but because our eyes were filling with dust from the straw. It was one of those moments.”

Simon Doonan, creative ambassador, Barneys New York: “If you look at his old shows, they were often about 45 minutes long, which today is unthinkable. You have eight minutes of choreographed efficiency today. People would be terrified to have a show run for that length. I can still remember going to Gaultier shows, with incense and clanging bells and people laughing. It was a completely different atmosphere to the shows today, which are very militaristic.”

Michelle Stein, president, Aeffe USA (Aeffe held the Jean Paul Gaultier license from 1994 to 2012): “I was always just breathless at the end of every show and hoping that everyone in the audience was as excited as I was, which was not always the case. When People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) stormed the runway [at the fall 2003 show], the people at Gaultier were prepared! The security was out with these massive fur coats, and they jumped up on the runway and wrapped these people in the fur coats and off the runway! Oh my god, it was crazy.”

The Clothes

Thierry-Maxime Loriot: “When you see Gaultier clothes, you don’t even need to look at the label. You just recognize it immediately.”

Marian McEvoy: “There was a real rapport with the streets, right from the very beginning. I think that’s where he gleaned a lot of his ideas, straight from the street, not an idea or a travelogue.”

Simon Doonan: “Years ago, Madonna loaned us at Barneys the pointy-bra, gold ‘Blonde Ambition’ corset. It was the most beautifully made thing I’ve ever seen in my life. It took us hours to unlace it and get it onto a mannequin. It was a piece of exquisite craftsmanship.”

Linda Fargo, senior vice president, Bergdorf Goodman: “That cone bra? That’s something he started as a boy. There was a teddy bear that he had and he actually made, out of paper or something, on his teddy bear. What was he, 5 or 6? And he was already dreaming about a cone bra on a bear.”

The Man

Marian McEvoy: “He had a wonderful sense of playfulness, humor was a big part of his look and his style. But he was clearly a very solid fashion designer. It was highly unusual. I guess if you think that his contemporaries at that moment were people like Thierry Mugler and Claude Montana — let’s just say they took themselves much more seriously.”

Coco Rocha, model: “He was one who treated models like human beings. I know that sounds ridiculous, but sometimes you go to castings and they don’t know your name, you’re just there to wear the clothes. Gaultier, you will go to his atelier and he has food and he wants to sit down with you. He even took me out to his rooftop to watch the sunset. He takes time with his models and let’s them know what the whole show is about. We feel more creative. You want to do good for him. You don’t want to just walk down the runway.”

The Provocateur

Hamish Bowles, Vogue’s international editor at large, who as the 25-year-old fashion director of Harpers & Queen, walked the runway in Mr. Gaultier’s fall 1989 show, after a chance encounter a few months earlier in Riccione, Italy, where the collection was being produced: “Jean Paul had a party bus for his team and one night we went from mega disco to mega disco, which was cheesy fun. Very late, that tipsy night, his general factotum and press guy Lionel Vermeil said to me, ‘Jean Paul has been thinking that he’d really like you to be in his next women’s show … would you consider it?’ Naturally, I was thrilled beyond and immediately said, ‘Yes, yes, yes,’ at which point Lionel added, ‘The show is inspired by ’20s Weimar lesbians.’

“I hadn’t told a soul and there was only a very slow realization in the audience that it was me — largely I think because on my first exit I really camped it up doing exaggerated ‘Paris is Burning’ runway moves (which happily have been eviscerated from the only YouTube video I could find), whilst everyone else had got the dour Weimar brief and came stomping out looking surly. So there was no mistaking me. Before I went out a second time, Jean Paul instructed me to tone down the moves, which was just as well as the pants under my kilt had been taken out too much after the fitting and started sliding down my then snake-like hips in mid shimmy — so my statelier gait helped avoid an international incident as one hand on hip was effectively keeping the pants up. I don’t think anyone could believe that I’d actually done it but it was all part of JPG’s revolutionary gender-bender antics.”

His Legacy

Michelle Stein: “The whole industry has changed so much since Jean Paul began, but he’s just one of the best designers who have ever lived. It’s so sad to think that the general public will no longer have the opportunity to see the ready to wear, nor to wear it. I still go into my closet and my favorite pieces in my wardrobe are Jean Paul Gaultier.”

Thierry-Maxime Loriot: “When you see who was assisting him, from Martin Margiela to Nicolas Ghesquière to Peter Dundas, who have all been Gaultier’s assistants, you really see in their work how they’ve been influenced by him. He left a big print in the fashion industry.”

Linda Fargo: “For me, Jean Paul Gaultier was part of my awakening in fashion. There’s a handful of designers that did that for me.”

Coco Rocha: Gaultier, along with Steven Meisel, made my career. Meisel was the one who found me, scouted me, made me. Gaultier? He made me Irish dance down the runway in 2007. Every day I’m reminded by someone who says, ‘You were the girl that Irish-danced down Gaultier’s runway.’ People remember that.”

Simon Doonan: “Often fashion today feels a little bit abstract. You look at these very expensive, complicated collections that are shown by high-level designers and you think, ‘I wonder who’s going to wear that.’ With Gaultier, the models were wearing it, the editors were wearing it, and the general public was wearing it — or wearing some version of it that was mass-produced.”

Tim Blanks: “I think there was a sense for a very long time that JPG would be the heir to Yves Saint Laurent, that he was the standard-bearer for French fashion at its purest. It was so obvious that Gaultier should be the designer at Dior. Galliano got the job and I remember people were quite surprised by that.”

Stefano Tonchi, editor of W magazine: “I think he invented streetwear in prêt-à-porter. He brought it there. Now, really, it doesn’t quite exist anymore. Prêt-à-porter is couture. The prices, the look, the things that you see at prêt-à-porter collections are really couture. It’s like beautiful couture pieces made in multiples.”

Anna Wintour, editor in chief of American Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast: “He’s always been a showman. I do think that recently his whole emphasis has been much more on the couture and having fun with the couture. I don’t think we’re going to lose that Gaultier moment.”

wilhelmina:

Coco Rocha’s Dance off
With a little coaching by Jacob Burton, Supermodel Coco Rocha brought lighthearted vibes to the Wilhelmina Models NYFW Party with a dance move only she could bring back: ‘the running man.’
#AreYouFollowingMe?Instagram: @WilhelminaModelsTwitter: @wilhelmina
Coco Rocha:Instagram: @CocorochaTwitter: @cocorochaTumblr: #Oh-So-Coco
Jacob Burton:Instagram: @Jacob_Burton1

wilhelmina:

Coco Rocha’s Dance off

With a little coaching by Jacob Burton, Supermodel Coco Rocha brought lighthearted vibes to the Wilhelmina Models NYFW Party with a dance move only she could bring back: ‘the running man.’

#AreYouFollowingMe?
Instagram: @WilhelminaModels
Twitter: @wilhelmina

Coco Rocha:
Instagram: @Cocorocha
Twitter: @cocorocha
Tumblr: #Oh-So-Coco

Jacob Burton:
Instagram: @Jacob_Burton1


L’Officiel Singapore - September 2014

I posted the two covers last week, now here’s the full 1960’s inspired editorial and interview! Photos by Chaundo & Frey, Stylying by Jack Wang & Jumius Wong, Hair by Roberto di Cuia and Makeup by Nigel Sanislaus.

INTERVIEW

"Whatever I do, I want to do it well. I don’t want to, say, go into acting just because 
that’s the next thing to do; I want to learn how to be really good at it. “ Explains Rocha. A recent collaboration with accessories label BaubleBar proves her eye for statement-making costume jewelry – think show-stealing necklaces with huge crystals and stones or a row of pearls on a ear cuff. What’s next on the list? 

Affectionately dubbed the “Queen of Posing”, she has amazed one and all with her ability to hit poses in quick succession. Her record so far? One hundred and sixty poses per minute. Back in 2003, Rocha was a 14-year-old girl who had devoted half her life to dance when Charles Stuart (owner of acclaimed model management agency in Vancouver, Charles Stuart International Models) spotted her during an Irish dance competition. The Canadian girl spent a few months in Singapore and Taipei building a portfolio before moving to New York to work on an exclusive six-month stint with photographer Steven Meisel (whom the industry knows as the ‘model maker’). She left an indelible impression on the fashion industry when she Irish-jigged her way down the runway of Jean Paul Gaultier (Fall-Winter ’07), which led to it being remembered as the ‘Coco Moment’. “I attribute my success to them [Steven Meisel and Jean Paul Gaultier],”shares Rocha.

While Rocha describes Manhattan as the city with “so much going on that I have to live slightly outside of it”, she now resides in Westchester with husband, James Conran. They both work from home (“I love days where I stay in in my pajamas and just watch Netflix,” says the 26-year-old) and make the occasional jaunts to Manhattan to catch up with friends, for photo shoots, and various meetings for her soon-to-be-published book, Study of Pose, which is due out this October.

Conceptualized and photographed by Steven Sebring, the book contains 1,000 poses executed by Rocha; it was a challenge thrown by the photographer whom she had met at a dinner party in 2010. At that time, Sebring was developing a unique system, called The Rig, that he felt could revolutionize fashion photography. He described it as “the fourth dimension”, an experimental form of photography that, in a nutshell, works very much like the “bullet time” shots made famous in the Matrix. While a technical explanation would not do this process justice, Rocha explains, “It’s almost as if the technology makes movement seem tangible and the energy of the pose truly alive. Steven said he couldn’t find a anyone he thought was capable of doing one thousand poses which sounded like a challenge to me. I love a good challenge.”

“By using The Rig for this project, the concept of capturing 1,000 poses became much more contemporary, educational and interactive than I ever could have dreamed,” explains Sebring. Every shot of Rocha in the traditionally printed book is available in its 360-degree digital glory (which can be accessed when you buy its digital book), where every pose can be viewed and studied in great detail from one hundred different, seamless angles. “It was me in the middle and a hundred cameras all around me,” Rocha recalls the creative process.

How did you fall in love with dancing? 

I loved to perform when I was young, and I still do. Music always inspires me while modeling – it brings me back to performing. I put 110% into it and I think everyone gets more creative when they see someone else perform.

How, do you think, your background in dancing has helped you advance in modeling?

I think models that used to dance are generally better models. They are less nervous under the watchful eye of the camera and they know how to use their body. In my new book, you’ll see how different types of dance are used as inspiration. To know and understand your body is very important, it helps you to see what an angle looks like without having to look at the photo. In dance, you are trained to position your hand or curve your body in a certain way without looking at it.

What do you wish to achieve through this book?

There are a few messages. One is to educate younger models and people who think modeling is easy. It’s a portfolio of poses and a proof of how complex and nuanced it can be. On the other hand, it is supposed to be funny. A book of a thousand poses – that’s a funny thing! For artists and sculptors out there, the digital version allows you to have a 360-degree view of the poses. It’s like seeing a thousand ways the body moves and really is a different way of looking at art. The biggest thing that I’m excited about is the fact this is the first book of its kind. This is the dictionary for modeling and I doubt anyone else will attempt this. It’s interesting. Either you will laugh at it, or be inspired by it. I hope both!

You mentioned in Study of Pose, “I would be lying if I said I didn’t hit a few walls in the three days we shot this book.” What were the main challenges faced? 

Trying to find a thousand was definitely a challenge. I kept questioning myself, “Did I already do that pose?” My husband and Steven were throwing out inspiration like ‘Marilyn Monroe’ and ‘Michael Jackson’ to coach me into new poses. There were no props, it was just me. It was quite daunting and more than a few times I wondered if I even had it in me to come up with 1000.

How many poses were shot before shortlisting it to 1,000?

Maybe around 1,050. You can’t really go any further than that, or at least I couldn’t!

You’ve been an inspiration to aspiring models. What words of advice do you have for them?

It’s important they learn how to build confidence. Nine years ago, I didn’t have the confidence to move. Photographers had to move me. We’re there to inspire. A lot of girls are very nervous about being judged on how they move. On the other hand I think over confidence and arrogance can be an issue for young models. I’ve always lived by the mantra “It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice”.