Jean Paul Gaultier On Loving S.F., Hating Tech, & Turning 60

We came, we saw, and we absolutely conquered the ridiculously cool Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young this morning, at a special press preview.
Besides the tech-savvy talking-head mannequins that are a see-it-to-believe-it experience, a room full of Madonna's cone bras, gorgeous couture gowns lined up on rotating display stands, and much, much more, today's highlight was definitely going head-to-head with the man of the hour, JPG, himself.

Read on for all the dish from our chat with Gaultier, including tidbits on his love of S.F., his nonexistent iPhone skills, and his upcoming 60th birthday plans...and be sure to get yourself to
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk
exhibit, which opens this Saturday, March 24, stat.


You mentioned that you've been to San Francisco three times in your life. How have you liked it?
"This is my first time staying at the Fairmont. The first time I was here was in 1980. It was my first time in America and I was passing through. I went straight to Los Angeles because I was doing the costumes for a band. After that, I came to San Francisco. I had heard, not only about the hippies, but the gay freedom. I knew people were more free there with the sexual liberation. So, I was very excited to see it."

Did you go straight to the Castro and stay there?
"No. I went one time, but my hotel was not there. There was only one hotel that I could pay for! It was a very modest visit. And I loved it. It was in August and it was so hot, and one afternoon I saw this man who was straight from the Village People, with the black leather cap and the chaps and I was like, 'Oh my God. How crazy it is to go out during the day in that!' I was shocked. People were truly more free."

What do you think about the city now?
"I love the city. I love the colors. I love all the hills going up and down, and the water. To be honest, I prefer it to L.A. It's more open, there are trees, and you can walk! If you take a walk, you are not taken for a prostitute, like in L.A.! When I'm in L.A., I don't drive, so I am walking and some cars will stop! Maybe I can take it as a compliment."


San Francisco is a huge tech city. Are you a techy guy?
"Not at all. I am the opposite of that! I have a French friend who has been living here for 25 years and she was one of the first French people at Apple. I am the opposite of her! I have an iPhone, but only to send texts. I don't like that if someone is phoning me, I will be disturbed. I cannot do two things at one time. I have no iPod...I'm too distracted. Now, images are everywhere and I love it, but there are almost too many images. When I watch TV, I can just keep zapping all the time! But I don't want to be that excited. Even the Internet. It's just non stop. I like to think alone with my brain and not over-communicate. "

Last question...any 60th birthday plans? It's coming up!
"To be in my bed, eating spaghetti."

Photo: Via Facebook/JPG

R29 Original Series