JPG pulling out of ready-to-wear

JPG pulling out of ready-to-wear

PARIS - Jean Paul Gaultier or JPG, showman of Paris fashion, is to bow out of ready-to-wear later this month after nearly 40 years of over-the-top, sometimes provocative collections.

The 62-year-old former "enfant terrible" of fashion, who famously designed Madonna's cone bras, will devote himself to couture, the brand's perfume business and other projects, the fashion house said in a statement.

His last ready-to-wear collection will be shown on Sept 27 during the Spring/Summer 2015 fashion shows in Paris.

The designer told industry journal Women's Wear Daily (WWD) the decision was made after an "in-depth assessment" of the future of the fashion house in which Spanish fragrance and fashion group Puig has a majority stake.

"For some time, I have found true fulfilment in working on the haute couture, and it allows me to express my creativity and my taste for research and experimentation," he said.

The eccentric Gaultier, considered one of France's most talented designers, still creates stage costumes for performers like singer-actress Kylie Minogue.

He said the decision came as the world of ready-to-wear had "evolved considerably".

"Commercial constraints as well as the frenetic pace of collections don't leave any freedom, nor the necessary time to find fresh ideas and to innovate," he said. "I will be able again to express my creativity without constraints."

Gaultier, who launched his own company in 1976, started his beauty business in 1991 and an accessories division in 2000.

He moved into haute couture in 1997, and his high-fashion collections are always a highlight of the Paris fashion calendar.

For the finale of his last couture show in July, he got the bearded Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst to parade down the catwalk resplendent in a black-and-red, vampire-themed gown.

WWD quoted market sources as estimating that the fashion house currently generates consolidated revenues of around US$38.9 million (S$49 million), with fragrances the most successful part of the business.

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