Why Beth Ditto & Jean-Paul Gaultier Designed This T-Shirt Together

Photo: Courtesy of Christine Hahn/BethDitto.com.
Beth Ditto has had a pretty tight, if slightly erratic, relationship with the fashion industry for years. In September, she walked in Marc Jacobs' spring 2016 show; in October 2010, The Gossip singer walked (and sang!) in Jean Paul Gaultier's spring 2011 ready-to-wear show. Ditto also did a plus-size line for British retailer Evans in 2009. Now, the size-28 singer is gearing up to launch her very own plus-size line, which is slated to debut in February. To drum up excitement for the upcoming collection, Ditto paired up with Gaultier on a limited-edition "Corset Tee" that will be part of the line.

Available now in sizes 1X and 2X on the singer's website, it's festooned with an image of Gaultier's iconic cone-bra corset, made famous by Madonna during her 1990 Blonde Ambition tour. On the back, there's an actual lace-up detailing, so the shirt can be cinched at the waist and voilà — you've got a dress.

"Jean Paul is the most generous, positive person," Ditto said in a statement. "He truly loves women of all sizes and ages and knows how to make everyone feel gorgeous." In addition to walking Gaultier's show five years ago, Ditto wore a custom Gaultier gown at her 2013 wedding to longtime girlfriend Kristin Ogata.

“Big girls are beautiful, and Beth is super-beautiful! Long live the beauty with shapes, boobs, and bottoms," Gaultier said in a statement. "This is a new concept, loose-fit corset. And Beth fits it perfectly," he said. A portion of proceeds from the $165 shirt will benefit Girls Rock Camp Foundation.

There were a couple of tweets questioning why Ditto didn't make actual bustiers or lingerie in plus sizes, instead of a large shirt imprinted with a sexy underpinning. Plus-size blogger Sarah Conley of StyleIt noted the steep price — but a number of others, including Gabi Gregg, Nicolette Mason, and Callie Thorpe, tweeted support of Ditto's latest endeavor.

As for Ditto's forthcoming, eponymous collection, her site says to "expect silks, custom prints, embroidery, and Beth’s firsthand understanding of fit" that culls from Ditto's "love of vintage." "This line is by us, for us, period,” Ditto told Dazed. “It’s my lifelong dream to get to design real clothes for big people, clothes that are comfortable and cool!”