Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier, the only child of a bookkeeper and cashier was interested in fashion from a very early age. He became fascinated in the collection of corsets from his grandmother and began creating designs at the age of just 13. One of his earlier  designs was a bra he designed for his Teddy Bear which was later shown as a childhood artefact at one of his exhibitions.
 
Gaultier loved fashion magazines and followed high fashion designers to then develop his collections through sketches and designers. Exactly on his 18th birthday he landed a job wirthtop designer Pierre Cardin. He began working for Cardin as an assistant in 1970 and progressed since then. 6 years later Gaultier had developed his own label and had his first runway show in Paris.

 

The turning point of his career was after designing over 300 costumes for Madonna's 1990 Blond Ambition Tour, including a pink corset which she wore over men's trousers. Gaultier was also known for his lingerie-inspired designs and pushing gender norms.


 “When Madonna first called me in 1989, it was two days before my ready-to-wear show, and I thought my assistant was joking,” said Gaultier in a2001 interview with the New York Times. “I was a big fan. She knew what she wanted—a pinstripe suit, the feminine corsetry. Madonna likes my clothes because they combine the masculine and the feminine.” Indeed, it was this gender-bending spirit that made the tour’s visuals so memorable; just take her male dancers, who threw flamboyant shapes while sporting Tom of Finland-esque leather lace-back tops paired with Bob Fosse bowler hats.