Jean Paul Gaultier's Final Runway Had All of the Diversity and All of the Fun

Getty / Stephane Cardinale - Corbis

Jean Paul Gaultier’s runway and fashion house has symbolized diversity and encouraged imagination for 50 years. His Couture Week show was his farewell to the label, but it was more of a celebration than anything else. “As I sat watching from the orchestra pit, it dawned on me that JPG spent the last half century asking for many of the things we expect in popular culture today: Men in skirts. Girls in suits. Diversity on the runway. Body positivity. Trans visibility. He did it all first!” journalist Derek Blasberg wrote underneath a dedication post on his Instagram feed.

Many designers, such as Christian Louboutin, Isabel Marant, Mary Katrantzou, Christian Lacroix, and Nicolas Ghesquière (who was Gaultier’s former intern), attended the spectacle event, which was staged at Theatre du Chatelet in France. Gaultier showed his collection for the first time in 1976, casting models of all genders, body types, and ethnicities to wear his clothes. He also famously traveled with Madonna and dressed her in the famous cone bra during the early 1990s.

The prestige lives on, and that’s something to celebrate, so Gaultier invited Boy George to perform in the midst of the whirlwind fashion show, and JPG was lifted up by his team during the finale in an effort to pay respect to the major designer. There were more famous faces than we could count in the audience and on the catwalk combined, including Gigi Hadid, who made note, “JPG was the first designer to welcome me onto a Paris runway, for his last ready-to-wear collection in 2014.” We can confidently say the industry as a whole will continue to offer up their farewells on social media, such as Naomi Campbell, whose recent appreciation post is worth scrolling through.

Read on for some highlights from the colorful runway show that is sure to go down in history and was absolutely the most memorable from Spring 2020 Paris Haute Couture Week, then look forward to New York Fashion Week with us and brush up on the show schedule that’s right around the corner.

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