He soon became known for iconoclastic designs such as the male skirt, corsetry worn as outerwear, and tattoo-printed body stockings. The classics of Parisian fashion are also central to his repertoire, particularly the trench coat and le smoking.
In 1998 he launched a diffusion line, Junior Gaultier (since replaced by JPG), followed by excursions into perfumes (1993), and film costume (notably for Luc Besson’s ‘The Fifth Element’ and Peter Greenaway’s ‘The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover’). But it was his wardrobe for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour of 1990 that made him world-famous, in particular for a certain salmon-pink corset with conical bra cups. A celebrity and a genius possessed of both a piquant sense of humour and a deadly serious talent, in 2004 Gaultier staged an unique exhibition at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, entitled ‘Pain Couture’, that showcased clothing constructed entirely from bread.