Flamboyant fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier is to tell the story of his colourful life in a racy new stage musical.
The French creator will premiere Fashion Freak Show at the mythic Folies Bergere theatre in Paris next October before taking it on an international tour.
“It is all going in — everything,” said Gaultier, who has designed for pop icons from Madonna and Grace Jones to Kylie Minogue and Beyonce.
The all-singing and dancing show will be somewhere between a “cabaret review and a fashion spectacle”, Gaultier said, featuring a cast of “crazy, brilliant, muscled, knickerless reprobates” with whom the designer has spent his life.
“There is beauty everywhere,” declared the 64-year-old, famous his corset dresses and love of kilts. “I have always loved freaks and strange people, provocateurs and chance encounters where the boy from the street teases the duchess.”
Gaultier’s haute couture shows are the traditionally the cheekiest and most colourful on the Paris catwalk.
He began designing for his teddy bear when he was six in the Paris suburbs and worked alongside Pierre Cardin before becoming fashion’s enfant terrible in the 1980s.
His bubbly personality quickly made him a media darling, and he was the longtime presenter of the cult late-night British television series Eurotrash, which included such regular features as “Naked Germans of the Week” and suggestive sketches with his “special friends”, Pipi and Popo, two giraffes made from toilet rolls.
Gaultier said he had “always dreamed of putting on my own cabaret revue since I was nine”, when he first saw the feathers and the razzmatazz of the Folies Bergere on television.
He said his show will include hat-tips to several artists who inspired him, including Madonna, the Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar, Luc Besson, Minogue and the choreographer Angelin Preljocaj.