Jean-Paul Gaultier – Fashion Freak Show – Spectacle
Jean-Paul Gaultier – Fashion Freak Show – Spectacle Folies Bergeres
The idea is simple enough; a helter skelter ride through the life of the wittiest designer of the last half century.
-by Tony Glenville
Folies Bergeres September 28 2018, Paris.
The reality is a great deal more, Monsieur Gaultier includes his private life, his opinions and his heart as we sit entranced through two acts, four hundred costumes, dozens of scenes, a brilliant soundtrack, and some amazing guest stars on film.
All this is of course played by a cast whose energy and vitality is exhausting to watch. I saw the model, and star Anna Cleveland, one of the cast, at supper a few nights later who cried, “every muscle aches, and we’re on until April”!
From dancing teddy bears, to the Plastic Couture scene, and the death of his beloved partner Francis Menuge, Jean-Paul Gaultier held us in the palm of his hand as surprises and inventions flew past. Line Renaud does the cancan, Rossy de Palma is his school teacher and Catherine Deneuve announces the models in a menswear fashion show.
Childhood dreams become reality, his first collection on the catwalk, irreverent fashion swipes and Act Up, it is all there, placing his entire life on stage.
Above all it’s the clothes though which will bring memories to some, and will amaze others; menswear fit for a diva, a ball gown in camouflage ruched tulle, sexy bondage, and literally hundreds more, and the finale, whose brilliance I will not spoil, will force you to buy tickets for a fashion show you will never forget.
I was lucky enough to go when Jean-Paul Gaultier was in the theatre and came out for a bow; all I need to tell you is that the roar and standing ovation which echoed through the theatre was also a wave of love for this very special man.
Fashion Freak Show is the fashion night of your life!
A few credits must be mentioned as well. The amazing soundtrack is by Nile Rogers, those inimitable artists Pierre et Gilles have created a special piece for the show, Marion Motin is the choreographer, and finally in this list, Thierry Suc is the producer of this “cabaret that isn’t a review” show!
It should finally be noted that the heritage of French nightlife, reviews and performers is fully paid homage to in the show. Josephine Baker, Zizi Jeanmaire, and the wonderful history of the Folies Bergere itself, are all referenced by Gaultier, who as with his fashion work, has a huge knowledge, understanding and respect for the past, as well as the future.
Jean-Paul Gaultier says :
“I hope you will enjoy this show as much as I enjoyed creating it. The Fashion Freak Show is an invitation to dream and to make your dreams a reality. Because I have been lucky enough to do that, I wanted to share it with you and show whoever you are the doors are open for you. Being yourself is probably the best thing in the world, for everyone. Enjoy the show” – Jean-Paul Gaultier