Jean Paul Gaultier SS1994 Cabaret Tattoo Top

Jean Paul Gaultier SS1994 Cabaret Tattoo Top


With no formal fashion education to boast of, Jean Paul Gaultier established himself in the 70s and 80s as the “enfant terrible" of French fashion. His irreverent style left nothing sacred, dancing over the standard guard rails of high-fashion — he played with gender roles, adorning men in skirts decades before others opted to, and allowed plus sized women and older men to grace his runways. His talent was undeniable, though his utilization of such gifts made him a fiercely divisive designer. While often ripped by the French press, he gained the hearts of numerous subversive, forward-thinking icons, including Madonna and Marilyn Manson, both whom he conceptualized tour wardrobes for.

Vogue described Gaultier’s SS1994 runway as “a startling vision of cross-cultural harmony”. There was no obvious thematic focal point, but rather an artful enmeshing of inspirations plucked across culture and era. Mesh tattoo tops were a recurring visual throughout the season, and this striking example speaks to many of the key aesthetics which made the collection so iconic. The elaborate print features a man with traditional Maori tattoos atop another bearing taurus-like horns and piercings. They’re bookended by two female cabaret dancers; a type of performance which has always served as inspiration to Gaultier. Throughout its history, cabaret has been an uncommonly welcoming form of personal expression and sexual liberation, and would naturally have spoken to Gaultier’s boundary pushing predilections. Later in his career, Gaultier actually staged a cabaret event himself, titled “Fashion Freak Show”.

Condition: 8/10. Neck tag is missing.

Tagged size: S

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