THE SECRETS OF AN
HAUTE COUTURE PERFUME
FROM DESIGNER TO COUTURIER
When Classique was launched in 1993, Jean Paul Gaultier was already one of the leading lights in ready-to-wear fashion, but had yet to make his mark in the world of Haute Couture. In fact, he did not launch his first collection until 1997 but when he did it received a phenomenal reception from both the public and the fashion industry. However, Gaultier’s quest for excellence had started many years before, and Classique is now seen as his first Couture creation, as both the fragrance and its bottle were designed with the same rigour and aspirations of a great Couturier.
THE CORSET, NATURALLY
Jean Paul Gaultier wanted Classique to seduce and reveal its personality at first glance. So, Gaultier did what he does best — dress and style the bottle. In a corset, naturally! Ten years after his corset made its first appearance in one of his collections, this now iconic garment — as re-imagined by the enfant terrible of fashion — became a defining moment of recognition. Fascinated by the aesthetics and history of this undergarment since childhood, Gaultier hijacked its codes and reinvented it to the point where it will forever be associated with his name.
Gaultier did not see the corset as an oppressive, restrictive garment, but rather a liberating one to be displayed proudly and with sensuality. Madonna cemented her status as a pop icon and sex symbol in a corset designed by Gaultier. However, creating a corset out of glass was no easy task! To breathe life into his passion for Fashion, Gaultier sought out expert skills usually only reserved for Haute Couture items.
Were you able to go back in time and take a glimpse behind the scenes of the birth of Classique, you would see outstanding French savoir-faire at work. For the bottle was not just an aesthetic revolution, it was a veritable technical feat.
Just like in his Haute Couture creations, nothing must be impossible. Gaultier had very precise ideas and wishes and wanted the now famous bust bottle to delight all the senses — no holds barred. He did not care that glass is a notoriously difficult material to work with or that Classique’s curves had to be sensual and rounded. Or that the colours had to be powdery to help create the illusion of a satin corset. In short, the bottle had to be both visually stunning as well as sensual to the touch. The stakes were high but thanks to the expertise of French glass-makers, Jean Paul Gaultier's dream perfume bottle became a reality.
LUXURY FOR ALL
Jean Paul Gaultier has always loved juxtaposing styles in his fashion collections — masculine and feminine, conventional and punk, traditional and ultra-modern — and he applied this approach to his first fragrance! In fact, he surprised everyone when he decided to package his luxury fragrance in a tin can of all things! And yet this was not the first time he had re-purposed an everyday object.
A trailblazer of what would come to be known as ‘upcycling’, Gaultier had already transformed this everyday metal container into precious jewellery and evening accessories in his early catwalk shows. By choosing to use the ubiquitous tin can as the case for his perfume, he impishly challenged the codes associated with high-end items to offer a luxury fragrance that was in everybody’s reach. This playful and proactive contradiction made the whole world fall in love with him, and his first perfume soon became a genuine Classique.
Thirty years after its launch, Classique still enjoys the same success and continues to declare a love for Fashion. This timeless perfume likes nothing better than a whole new wardrobe. Reflecting new Gaultier collections or new versions of the fragrance, this legendary bust bottle adores changing outfits.
A veritable catwalk show! We have seen this iconic perfume bottle dressed in a tattooed mesh skin, a glowing sequinned corset, a warm and cosy down jacket, the classic body morph top so beloved of the House of Gaultier, a rainbow-striped sailor top proudly bearing supportive messages, as well as lace, knits, graffiti, gold or even a simple necklace of summer flowers. But beware! Although Classique adores changing her appearance, it is not because she gets bored, quite the contrary, it’s just that she likes to emulate the women Jean Paul Gaultier created her for — all women everywhere.
IN 3 VERSIONS
See you soon for the next chapter and a glimpse behind the scenes of this Classique fragrance.