Stars came out in full force for Jean Paul Gaultier’s final bow.
The fashion designer recently announced that his Spring-Summer 2020 Couture show will be his last, promising “quite a party with many of my friends” to celebrate his 50-year-long career, and he certainly delivered.
Gautier tapped Paris Jackson, Irina Shayk, Karlie Kloss, Gigi and Bella Hadid, Winnie Harlow, legendary burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, drag queen Violet Chachki and more for the historic fashion event, which took place on Wednesday at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet. Boy George opened the show by singing a haunting rendition of “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse as six dancers carried a black coffin down a flight of stairs.
Kloss, 27, channeled a high-fashion ring master as she theatrically opened the coffin to reveal the first model to kick off the runway.
Known for his androgyenous haute couture styles and the creation of the cone bra (beloved by Madonna), the 67-year-old French designer stayed true to his eccentric fashion roots with today’s Paris Fashion Week show.
The nearly hour-long extravaganza started with Gaultier’s take on paper doll cut-out outfits (suits and blouses were attached to the front of each model, rather than worn on the body), followed by gothic lace, suede, sparkly and satin corsets, full chiffon skirts, metallic headpieces, ballet pointe shoes and (of course!) a few cone bras.
All of the industry’s top models came out to pay homage, wearing two or three different outfits throughout the show, while Jackson, 21, made her catwalk debut donning a printed long-sleeve blouse with cape, snake-print pants and beaded necklaces and headband.
Other notable moments included when supermodel Coco Rocha pulled out her go-to runway move — Irish dancing — doing a Reel down the catwalk, just like she did at his Fall 2007 show at Paris Fashion Week.
There was also a blow-up sex doll costume, plenty of nudity, a few stumbles on the runway (thanks to skyhigh platforms and and unusual multi-stiletto heels) and a diverse cast of models of different races, genders and ages.
Boy George reappeared to close the show in song, as the enormous cast cheered Gaultier on during his final walk down the runway. The fashion designer, who wore utility-inspired denim coveralls over a black and white striped long-sleeve shirt, danced, skipped, clapped and blew kisses as he soaked up the special moment.
On Jan. 17, the legendary French designer announced on Twitter that this couture show would be his last.
“This show celebrating 50 years of my career will also be my last. But rest assured Haute Couture will continue with a new concept,” he wrote alongside a campy video.
In the clip, Gaultier himself reveals the news during a series of phone conversations.
“Hi! This is Jean Paul Gaultier,” he says in French. “I invite you to celebrate my 50 years in fashion at the Théâtre du Châtelet on the 22nd of January. Coming?”
“It’s going to be quite a party with many of my friends and we’re going to have fun until very very late. Now I am going to share something with you. This will be my last Haute Couture show,” Gaultier — who also served as the creative director of the French fashion house Hermès for seven years, before exiting to focus on his own label in 2010 — adds.
“Be there! You can’t miss this.”
The designer then clarified that his haute couture line will still exist after his exit. “Stay tuned…Gaultier Paris will go on, the Haute Couture continues!” he said. But he played coy about what we can expect in the future: “I have a new concept. I’ll tell you all about it later … all the little secrets…”
“To be continued,” he said at the end of the clip while blowing kisses at the camera. “Bisous!”