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June 27, 2017

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Jean-Paul Gaultier fetes '80s icons in Paris

PARIS--From Madonna to Michael Jackson, Grace Jones to Sade: Jean-Paul Gaultier feted the pop and style icons of the 1980s on Saturday with a rebelliously joyful collection for next spring.

"Just because there's an economic crisis, doesn't mean we all have to act all miserable, and show depressing clothes," the designer joked with reporters after the show, midway through Paris Fashion Week.

"Why should it all be about minimalism? There's room for joy as well."

Stiletto-heeled dancers shimmied around on a decor of scaffolding, mirrored balls hanging from the ceiling, to one 1980s hit after another, as the models stepped out — all cast as lookalikes of one or other pop icon.

First "Grace Jones" in a tuxedo — reworked Gaultier style as a sleeveless pantsuit.

A whole series of "Madonnas" walked out, first in a dominatrix cage-dress, then evolving towards the lingerie-inspired look of the pop diva's "Like a Virgin" era.

"Boy George" was an excuse for a series of Japanese-inspired print dresses and pants.

"Sade" wore sleek dresses of woven black raffia, while Michael Jackson burst on stage in shiny perfecto jackets worn over bright little bikinis, tilting his hat and grabbing his crotch in true "King of Pop" style.

"In the 80s there were all these crazy looks, whereas nowadays it's all about copying what others are doing, like kind of clones," Gaultier said.

The designer said his collection was about "people who had an influence on fashion, just as I was personally influenced by David Bowie in his way of being and dressing."

"Madonna was the post-feminist, what came after the bra-burning years. She said 'Yes, I am going to dress sexy, but I am the one deciding to do it.'"

"Boy George with his totally ambiguous look and songs like 'Do You Really Want to Hurt Me,' was also making a statement."

"They all had a look, but also an aesthetic that made people sit up and react."

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