2018年11月，時裝周季節已過，想不到還有一名設計師選在這時候開show，還是一場異於傳統的時裝騷—— Fashion Freak Show by Jean Paul Gaultier 。這個法國鬼才創意大師有名為「時尚頑童」，當然不甘於平凡刻板的生活與設計，畢竟他一直人生如戲，minialism才不是他的代名詞。當看到這個Fashion Freak Show是由他一手主辦時固然驚喜，卻不意外。
說起「人生如戲」，沒有正式受專科教育的JPG的時裝設計知識和啟發一直源於戲劇與雜誌，這次便是透過戲劇化表演來展示他的靈感世界與設計。Fashion Freak Show 的靈感來自於JPG小時候留意到的兩種娛樂媒介——1890年至1920年代風靡巴黎的咖啡廳Folies Bergères 和 Jacques Becker的電影《Falbalas》。這次他將演員、舞者、馬戲團表演者放在一起，來敍述舊巴黎怪誕又荒謬的浮華娛樂世界，同時加入了時下整容、虛擬社交媒體世界的議題，讓一切浮誇的情節又回歸到現實生活之中。比起一場單純的時裝騷，Fashion Freak Show 是 JPG 以戲劇來審視時裝、美學、社會現象的手段。主流群體眼中的freaks（怪胎）從其實不怪，反而具有更多故事與可能性 —— “I want to show difference. For there is beauty to be found everywhere, it all depends on how one chooses to look at it.” 他解釋了這場表演的意圖。在這場花了兩年時間籌備的show裡，我們可以看到男人穿起裙裝與網紗、帶BDSM意味的服裝、超現實設計⋯⋯
回看他的時裝生涯，JPG 的確讓我們顛覆了許多常規想像，尤其在性別（Gender）的討論之上。他讓模特兒兼合夥人Tanel Bedrossiantz穿上女裝長裙、起用雌雄同體模特兒Andrej Pejic、為張國榮《熱情》演唱會設計服裝等。接受的人認為他前衛好玩，不接受的人卻覺得他和他的設計是怪胎，正好以時裝反映了時下社會文化。 透過今次演出，他道出：“Clothes can say so much about their time, the way we relate to femininity and masculinity, sexuality, about what we consider different and where the limits of society are.”
社會中總有許多規條與限制，尤其現時網絡世界讓我們展示自己／窺探他人生活那麼容易，便有更多人對你指指點點。你寧願在他人的目光與規條之下做個「正常人」，還是安心地做個「怪胎」？答案並沒有對錯，但JPG告訴我們 “It’s okay to have a dream. It’s okay to dare.”（擷取自演員 Anna Cleveland 受訪回答）
最後，很想分享 Jean Paul Gaultier 在1989年推出的個人單曲《How To Do That》
November 2018. Paris Fashion Week for Spring/Summer is long past, and the Fall/Winter edition does not arrive until February 2019. It’s an unconventional time to host a show, yet the Fashion Freak Show by Jean Paul Gaultier is hardly conventional. Jean Paul Gaultier is often known as the enfant terrible of french fashion. Far from minimalistic, his designs espouse the kind of drama (and often surrealism), that is reminiscent of a stage set, or a movie screen.
This is particularly reflected in this years Fashion Freak Show, which is inspired by the 1920s film “Paris Frills” (French: Falbalas). Starring a kaleidoscope of actors, dancers, and circus performers, the atmosphere of the show is reminiscent of the world of Old Paris – almost like a scene taken out of the Moulin Rouge. But what does it all mean?
“Clothes can say so much about their time, the way we relate to femininity and masculinity, sexuality, about what we consider different and where the limits of society are.”
Gaultier has long adopted the stance that fashion is a method for examining the aesthetics, societal norms, and culture of our times. In the Fashion Freak Show, we see designs which warp the image of the body and clothing inspired by BDSM culture. In combination with the surreal styling, the Fashion Freak Show predictably evokes a sense of other-worldliness. But is this world so much different than our own? In a way, these designs all seek to reflect and magnify the issues of our time: our changing perceptions of the ‘ideal body’, and the increased discourse on sexuality.
In examining his fashion career, Gaultier’s designs also have a tendency to subvert the conventions gender in fashion. This years show featured Tanel Bedrossiantz, Gaultier’s model and partner, wearing a long, traditionally feminine dress. The show also features transgender model Andrej Pejic, whose presence stands in stark contrast to Victoria’s Secret recent statements rejecting trans women as models on their runway.
In exploring the idea of the Fashion Freak Show, there is an inevitable sense of satire and prophecy. For whilst the ‘freaks’ may not be strange in the eyes of many, for others who reject these current societal trends, they may regard those featured on the show as truly strange.
As Gaultier himself highlights – “I want to show difference. For there is beauty to be found everywhere, it all depends on how one chooses to look at it.” In a world where ‘normalcy’
can often be reinforced through the internet and social media, Gaultier importantly reassures us that:
“It’s okay to have a dream. It’s okay to dare.”
Translated and edited by Wendy Liao