The one-time enfant horrible of the style world has misplaced none of his irrepressibly infectious joie de vivre. At 70, as he stood earlier than a cheering crowd, he nonetheless radiates a wide-eyed, child-like enjoyment of every little thing he does. He might, maybe, at all times be finest referred to as the person who introduced us Madonna in pointy underwear, however he additionally represents a profound celebration of distinction, of range, of revelling in who you’re and never letting the world and even designers dictate it to you. “We will use vogue and never be utilized by vogue,” he tells us, adopted by his rallying cry of: “We’re freaks and freak is stylish.” All that and extra is obvious from the second the present opens with performers in large teddy bear costumes sporting, naturellement, conical bras…
Your entire spectacle is a hybrid of vogue, theatre and the designer’s personal distinctive sense of enjoyable. It’s a peek inside his head, which we’re instructed comprises “a tiny thoughts full of muscle bears and horny nurses.” Therefore the bonkers opening quantity.
From there it’s a riotous romp via his life through large display screen projections displaying journal covers, paintings or humorous video inserts, alongside the primary on-stage set-pieces. All of it whirls us from a younger boy in hassle for doodling in school (however at all times inspired by his doting grandma, later seen can-canning), via struggling early designers days full of rejection, on to heady success after which the heartbreak of the AIDS period.
The primary stage consists of, after all, an enormous catwalk which bisects the cabaret tables on the primary ground. Beautiful corsetted women and men writhe to a sensual model of Mild My Hearth (the reside singers are sensational all through) earlier than a Josephine Baker section segues into lucha libre fighters with feather boa headdresses and wings cavort to a pounding membership beat.
We get a full recreation of Gaultier’s debut 1976 vogue present which horrified purists with its use of road fashion, widespread materials and even bin luggage. In a while, there’s one other lavish recreation of the designer’s first male couture present that after once more titillated and outraged, this time with a blurring of gender norms. His groundbreaking affect on male styling will be seen in every single place lately, notably at avant garde occasions just like the Met Gala.
In addition to pure vogue, there are additionally vibrantly staged underground membership scenes, vogue ball dance-offs and a glance behind the scenes on the cut-throat world of vogue present mannequin audition.
All of it builds to a grand finale with a stirring video montage of Gaultier’s biggest popular culture months after which a catwalk parade of a few of his freakiest (however chicest, darlings) outfits, earlier than the fashions begin to peel off their garments on stage.
That is vogue dressed to its craziest nines after which stripped naked, a mirrored image of the numerous aspects of the person himself. Your entire present is actually spectacularly staged however the cavernous, industrial bleakness of the Roundhouse maybe diminishes a little bit of the influence. Nonetheless, that is undoubtedly a celebration for vogue lovers and a becoming celebration of a singular and particular expertise.