“The Inflatable Eiffel Tower And The Dancers In Neon-Pink Hasidic Outfits”


Susan Orlean's profile of French designer Jean Paul Gaultier contains all sorts of wonderful little stories. Par example:

The insults did indeed come, at school, where Gaultier was the misfit kid who wasn’t good at any sports and felt rejected by the boys in his grade. Then he got caught doodling in class. After smacking him with a ruler, the teacher pinned the drawing to the back of his shirt and made him walk through all the classrooms as a shaming punishment. This discipline strategy had one fatal flaw: the drawing was of women in bras and fish-net stockings, inspired by the Folies Bergère shows that Gaultier had watched at his grandmother’s. Instead of being the object of ridicule, he became the object of great admiration among the boys. “It was like a passport,” he says. “I realized if I sketched, people would smile.”

(Image from a Gaultier exhibit via Flickr user zio Paolino.)