Jean Paul Gaultier #FreesTheNipple At His Couture Show

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Jean Paul Gaultier has never been one to refrain from courting controversy. The designer has often sparked awe and shock with numerous projects, such as the cone-breasted corset he made for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition Tour. Or the time he placed an ad in Libértion, a French newspaper. calling for unconventional models. “The conventionally pretty need not apply,” read the much-publicized ad.

However, if Gaultier has not yet cemented his reputation as a rebel, this next stunt perhaps will. His newest haute couture show in Paris has shown support for the #freethenipple movement.

#FREETHENIPPLE @jpgaultierofficial

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This message was reportedly not so apparent for most of the show, as there was no evidence amongst the first looks that went down the catwalk. It was only at the finale that a pair of models sashayed down the runway, clad in fitted trousers and capes with nothing but a transparent Perspex plate covering their chests. One model wore the words “FREE THE NIPPLE” emblazoned clearly across the plate, whereas the other wore the same phrase but in French.

When asked about his bold decision backstage, the designer simply reasoned that his work has always been concerned with exploring and celebrating the human form in its entirety. He only asked, “If men have to right to go bare-chested, why not women?” It’s safe to say that even given Gaultier’s iconoclastic reputation, most did not expect this turn. The only hint within the show notes were the words “Libertié, Egalitié.”

The rest of the show was generally centered on the theme of smoking, which makes sense of the French government has recently spoken of its intentions to ban smoking in the public parks of Paris. The decision is certainly being met with much backlash and Gaultier seems to have had the sentiment in mind when he put the show together, having designed a barrage of smoking jackets and what Dazed calls “smoke-thin” sheath dresses.

However, it may be his contribution to the #freethenipple movement that draws the most attention. As a fixture of the fashion world, Gaultier might be adding to its momentum.

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons

Proud Latina Feminist. My likes include strong coffee, watching the previews that come on before the movie, and things that come in pretty packages. I've been a bibliophile and fashion lover since well before I could read or tie my own shoes.

    • Maya Asregadoo

      The fact that all people’s nipples are not considered to be “legal” is absolutely ridiculous. Good on Gaultier for being a true ally and helping the #freethenipple movement.

    • Kimi Mier

      I applaud Gaultier for this! Women have been shamed for their bodies for years while men can walk about in whatever stage of dress they like, it’s about time someone pointed out the double-standard in such a bold way.

    • Corrada Spatola

      Really cool movement to get behind!

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