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Maurice Lynch Music - Congratulates Anna Cleveland, Daughter of Pat Cleveland and Paul Van Ravenstein for her Debut in Designer Jean-Paul Gaultier Fashion Freak Show at The Folie Bergere in Paris.
Sun - November 11, 2018 1:17 pm  |  A+ | a-
Maurice Lynch Music - Anna Cleveland & Lazaro Costa - Jean-Paul Gaultier - Folie Bergere in Paris
Maurice Lynch Music - Anna Cleveland & Lazaro Costa - Jean-Paul Gaultier - Folie Bergere in Paris
Maurice Lynch Music - "Congratulates Anna Cleveland, Daughter of Pat Cleveland and Paul Van Ravenstein for her Debut in Designer Jean-Paul Gaultier Fashion Freak Show at The Folie Bergere in Paris.
Anna is performing in the show and channels Josephine Baker. I’m so excited for her as she branches out from modeling and begins her career in dance and music. I look forward to working with Anna in the future on new music as The magic of “Tonight Josephine” continues.
The show will be running from October 1- December 29, 2018”

Vogue Article - Behind The Scenes Of Jean Paul Gaultier's Fashion Freak Show
Jean Paul Gaultier hasn't been a fixture at Paris Fashion Week for a few years – but he's making his mark on the city again with a riotous theatre show at the legendary Folies Bergère. Vogue meets the designer as preparations for his unconventional spectacle take shape.

  Jean Paul Gaultier is a designer faced with the rare problem of having produced work so well known that it is often referenced or plagiarized unintentionally. From his torso-shaped perfume flasks to the corsets with cone-shaped cups, his trademarks have now entered a global visual language – a postmodern repertoire of sorts.

 When asked about these accidental homages, he smiles. "Well, it's a compliment isn't it?" he says, as he welcomes Vogue into his headquarters in the heart of multicultural Strasbourg–Saint-Denis. His reaction perfectly sums up his vision: grounded, aware, yet lighthearted. A philosophy that is still at the core of everything he touches – including the preview he is about to give us of the costumes for his upcoming Fashion Freak Show – a raucous, autobiographical spectacle falling somewhere between a revue and a fashion show, opening to the public on 2 October at the legendary Folies Bergère. As we enter the industrial space, a shrill voice fills the room. "Jean Paul! Am I just a hanger to you?" The voice belongs to none other than runway model Anna Cleveland (daughter of the iconic Pat Cleveland), one of the members of his typically diverse cast. Theatrically, she emerges from behind a folding screen, clad in an electric-blue sequin evening dress with a trail so long, it comes with its own matching hanger, designed to be carried as part of the look. The pair burst out laughing. This is Gaultier in a nutshell: an unserious design, seriously well cut. "I've never been into solemn, church-like fashion, and I'm not going to start now… I want my shows to be met not with a tear of emotion, but a giggle or a smile."

It was 42 years ago that he sent a deep, unsettling rumble through the fashion world by crafting couture garments out of straw and bringing punk attitude to French chic – not to mention all the men in skirts and unabashed references to bondage. It was a provocation that shocked, but never seeked to upset, earning him his nickname as fashion's enfant terrible. "I always liked so-called freaks, people who stood out and were in fact just as beautiful – mixed aesthetics, harmonious clashes, and the idea of a bad boy seducing a duchess," he said, summing up a utopian vision that he brought not only to runways but also to music (such as Madonna's Blond Ambition tour) and films (he designed the costumes for Luc Besson's The Fifth Element). All of which he is carrying on to yet another stage: the Folies Bergère, the famous cabaret venue where Josephine Baker and Charlie Chaplin once starred alongside no end of titillating entertainers. Performing here has been a lifelong dream for Gaultier, and his own show promises to be every bit as unconventional as the venue's storied reputation.

The show unfolds as a retrospective of the designer's bygone decades: personal recollections, pop memories, love and friendships, articulated through re-envisioned, emblematic elements of his work. Childhood epiphanies and traumas feature too. His teddy bear – Gaultier’s first muse – will make an appearance (in a guise yet to be revealed): as a young boy, he once operated on the fluffy toy to add the conical breasts that would later come to enjoy icon status on Madonna's corsets. His old school teacher is also represented, in the form of classroom doodles of costumes that were seized and pinned to Gaultier's back to teach him a lesson (having the opposite effect on his classmates).

Next in line: his wild youth in the 1970s at Le Palace and his discovery of punk chic in London; but also the late Francis Menuge, his boyfriend and business partner, who was instrumental in giving Gaultier the confidence and strategic advice necessary to launch his line (he died of AIDS in the 1990s). They all tell the tale of an epoch as much as they do his personal story.
And the narrative is carried out by the garments themselves. "Clothes have the power to trigger memories as much as real questions; they are central to this project." Reworked to be stage-friendly, comfortable and ultra-theatrical, his signatures – "les boudins" (rolls of fabric) used to accentuate the hips, shoulders and other parts of the body; sailor costumes; S&M touches; and of course gender-bending menswear – will all be there, louder than ever.

"I've always liked the idea that, like in people, there could be a second life or reading on things, a sudden beauty," he says of his use of cans turned into bracelets, or dresses cut out of bin bags, all for a very pop-art vision, "like a child who hasn't yet been conditioned by social judgement, and sees no difference in things."

This boundless vision has marked his entire career: he repeatedly shocked highbrow Paris by devoting equal levels of excitement to working with Hermès as with Diet Coke; or by choosing unexpected women to walk for his shows, from Björk to French reality-TV star Nabilla Benattia.

And the same can be said of his cast today, which comes in an array of shapes, sizes and skills: model Anna Cleveland; arthouse-cinema diva Rossy de Palma; Demi Mondaine, a singer Gaultier spotted on The Voice – not forgetting a coterie of strippers and contortionists.

Behind the scenes, Gaultier has been working hand in hand with director Tonie Marshall and Grammy-winning composer Nile Rodgers to produce true, indulgent entertainment. "That's what people want. I remember once being stopped, in the mid-Nineties, by a stranger in the street, who complimented me on one of my shows he had seen on TV. 'The décor! The lights! Amazing!' he said, and I thought: 'Aha, people just want to see a good show.'"

And, like pop art, his show also raises questions about the society around it: the press premiere is due to take place in the midst of Paris Fashion Week, a schedule Gaultier's been absent from since closing down his ready-to-wear line in 2014. Could this be a message for the industry to slow down? This is certainly what Cleveland has done: despite being a ‚Äčpermanent Fashion Week fixture in the past, she has refused all offers of work in order to fully dedicate herself to her role in the ensuing six months. "This is an extremely touching sign of friendship, which is rare," adds the couturier.

As for Cleveland, her role – as Josephine Baker – is especially poignant: "my great-aunt was in fact Josephine's Sunday-school teacher, and taught her to leave and try to make it as a performer... she always inspired me," she said, adding that she grew up with posters of the artist in her room. Today, "Jean-Paul is pushing for a kind of beauty that uplifts you and expands your horizon". A message about the power of visibility that the whole crew seem to agree on: "We are continuing what he [has] always strived for: turning differences into beauty and celebrating the individual," says Raphael Cioffi, a comedy writer known for his viral sketches on French TV, who wrote the performance's script. The show, a hybrid of genders and genres, "is true to original, irreverent fashion: creative, sincere and beyond anything, fun".

Maurice Lynch 

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