French fashion icon Jean-Paul Gaultier opened
up a new front in the battle over bras Wednesday with “Free the nipple”
slogans in his Paris haute couture show.
The flamboyant designer showed his support for a Florida teenager who
made to cover her nipples in bandages at her high school for not wearing a
under her sweatshirt.
Lizzy Martinez, 17, made headlines in April when she said teachers
to wear a second shirt and put plasters on her nipples after they claimed
other students had been distracted by her breasts.
Gaultier said it was a “scandalous” that a girl should be treated
and used his collection to support her.
He told AFP that if “men had the right to go bare-chested why not
And to hammer home the point he had a barechested male and female model
walk the catwalk, each wearing see-through police visors with the legend,
“Free the nipple” in French and English.
“You can see the nipples and the jewellery but you can’t touch,” he
“I don’t say that you must bare your breasts. I am very much for corsets
and bras, clearly I like them,” said the designer who came up with
famous conical bustiers.
“But a woman should be allowed to not to wear a bra under her
Gaultier played with nipple visibility in four other looks in his
autumn-winter collection that was a typically playful celebration of
“We are living in a quite policed world, and I was looking for a
show freedom for all,” he said.
“I wanted to show that you can walk around with bare breasts without
attacked or aggressed. It’s all about freedom to enjoy yourself and not
life too seriously.”
Gaultier also tease convention by using the cigarette — the number
enemy of health authorities around the world — as the inspiration for much
His heavily two-tone black and white show started with a run of “No
smoking” slogans on jumpers and jackets, which the designer said was a play
“le smoking”, the French term for a tuxedo.
“We should be free to either smoke or not,” said Gaultier.
The brilliant Dutch duo Viktor & Rolf celebrated their quarter century
together with an all-white collection that showcased their giddy,
“We wanted a clean slate,” Rolf Snoeren — the more talkative half of
avant-garde pair — told AFP backstage afterwards.
And they certainly let their imaginations run riot with a candyfloss
dress that looked like some giant had taken bites out of it, a harlequin
shaped as a heart, and a diamond-encrusted duvet dress that came with its
collar/halo of satin pillows.
If they weren’t so futuristic, the ruffed sleeves and accordion
by some models looked almost Elizabethan, while the huge squeezed
sleeves on a final silvery white coat made its wearer look like an
from the future.
But Snoeren denied that a show-stopping gold-fringed power raincoat
raised relief breastplate of the word “No” had anything to do with the
“If there is any message in the show, it is this,” he said pointing to
love you” written in elegant script on his white shirt.(AFP)
Credit: Jean-Paul Gaultier AW18, Catwalkpictures