Jean Paul Gaultier is well known for his taboo breaking casting choices. From transgender model Andrej Pejic to singer Beth Ditto, JPG’s catwalk shows are more often then not far removed from the ubiquitous parade of waifs which is the standard elsewhere.
Conchita Wurst Closes Jean Paul Gaultier Couture A/W 2014, Credit: Getty
It was not a complete surprise therefore when this year’s Eurovision contest winner, Conchita Wurst walked out on to JPG's catwalk to close his A/W 2014 couture show in Paris today. Tom Neuwith – the Austrian singer better known by her bearded drag stage persona, Conchita – stole the Eurovision show in Copenhagen earlier this year with the song ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’.
Since the win, Conchita has become and icon for Europe’s LGBT community and an emblem of hope for those living in intolerant societies. Denounced by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin amongst other politicians and church leaders, not all the response to her achivement has sadly been positive. However, her eloquent rebuttal to the criticism has served only to widen her fanbase.
Conchita Wurst with Jean Paul Gaultier at the 2014 Life Ball
By casting Conchita to close his show, JPG once again added a political flavour to the Couture collections. Since his Eurotrash days, the designer has always been associated with queer culture and has previously dressed Conchita – notably at this year's Life Ball. In the rarefied environment of the world's most exclusive fashion shows, it's heartening to see that JPG is still taking risks and working his casting magic.
Watch Conchita Wurst's winning Eurovision performance below...