THE SAILOR STRIPED TOP
Blue and white stripes always spring to mind when you think of Jean Paul Gaultier! An iconic Gaultier garment, the sailor striped top has been reinvented throughout the collections, as a party dress, embroidered with crystals, with trompe-l’œil, lacing, feathers… Jean Paul himself made it his favourite item of clothing. The sailor striped top became like his fashion superhero costume, worn wherever he went. When creating the bottle for his first men's fragrance, Le Male, Jean Paul Gaultier gave it a sailor striped top! At the origin of his love affair with this French classic are childhood memories, followed by the discovery of Fassbinder's Querelle, about a sensual and charismatic sailor. Since then, the fantasy has moved from Jean Paul Gaultier’s imagination and taken up residence in ours, with images of sexy and slightly roguish sailors enough to make you want to throw yourself in the sea! In 2021, the sailor striped top provided the inspiration for the inclusive and unisex “Les Marins“ capsule collection, a refreshing update presented by 5 famous designers.
Some fashion statements become social phenomena. As was the case in the 80s, when Jean Paul Gaultier liberated the women's skirt, so as to make it a unisex garment, along the lines of jeans or shorts. For him, clothes should be gender-neutral. Scandalous! Everyone was talking about it. When asked “Do you really think men can wear skirts?“, Jean Paul Gaultier responded by wearing one himself. He went on to make it part of his highly distinctive signature look, incorporating a kilt, a sailor striped top and bleach blond hair. In his skirt, he reiterated that the scandal made his legs look fantastic!
What society wants to hide, Jean Paul Gaultier shows off with pride! The power balance is reversed: defects become qualities, freaks become muses and underwear becomes couture clothing. The corset is the most iconic example of this. At Jean Paul Gaultier, it’s no longer an object of silent suffering, but a super sexy item of clothing allowing you to take back power. Madonna was the natural symbol of this feminist revolution, especially during her historic Blond Ambition Tour. Dressed in an iconic satin cone bra corset, she sang – demanded even – Don't go for second best baby! And when Jean Paul Gaultier created his first fragrance for women, Classique, he sculpted the famous bottle in the image of this independent and powerful corseted woman.
Aaah, Paris! The capital has long fascinated Jean Paul Gaultier. Far from the slick and polished fantasy, he celebrates the outrageous freedom of the city and its scandalous creatures: the bad girls, the bourgeois, the cheeky ragamuffins, the cancan dancers, the androgynous and the queens of the night… all of whom are unapologetic about their enjoyment of the city and everything it has to offer! Parading themselves from the Champs-Élysées to Pigalle, beneath the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. If Paris is the most beautiful city in the world, Jean Paul Gaultier recognises that it’s the Parisians that make it so.
When selecting his muses and models, Jean Paul Gaultier has a penchant for rebels! In the adverts for his open castings, he specified: “Broken faces welcome". But we warned, in the Jean Paul Gaultier ring, it’s the beating heart, not the fist that prevails! His sexy boxers only fight rules and conventions. It’s a total knockout!