Inspiring from the very first moment, the Vogue Fashion Festival did right by Jean-Paul Goude for presenting his work up on the large screens for us all to see. Bright colors shouting bold opinions, clear images of ideas breaking social boundaries, and video excerpts expanding views of beauty through artistic expression. It is clear that Jean Paul Goude is a legend.
From the suburbs of Paris, Goude recalls living a multi cultural life as his household was dominated with American culture and his surroundings being France. Instead of wishing to be in the center of Paris as many believe is the space to be if you want to work in fashion, he drew from his experiences in every format and truly engaged with what he had when growing up in the outskirts of Paris. He reminisces on an old museum that is now turned into the city’s immigration hall. Times change and he grabs onto that as inspiration in his work. He goes on to add a bit about how he entered in the fashion industry and shares that his family had been in the couture business.
Throughout the interview he candidly shares some of his experiences and influences with us, and very candidly I must add.
We hear about his love life, how the women he was always engaged with never fit in a standard in regards to type besides the fact that they were rarely ever white women; but he clarifies that it was not on purpose, it is just how his life story went. It became a center of the conversation in that it informed a lot of his creations and exposure to the many cultures and politics his work refers to. More specifically, Grace jones, singer and model, became a very important person in his life romantically and in work.
“When you are intimate with a person they share things with you. It’s only natural. I was with a lot of woman of color so they shared with me their experiences and it was a muse for me. I found their plight very important to share and to learn about.
Goude speaks to his personal interests often because, as he explains, it was a major base in how he became inspired to create. For example, he grew up dancing. If you look at many of his work in advertisement, they include a lot of choreography and movement. The things he loved as he was growing up are still the the things that fuel his work. It is evident that he stays true to what he loves and believes in. This is part of why his creations have been grounded and creative. Goude finds the skull exciting to touch, love scenes revoking, and the Swedish/Danish pinup girl to be a curious phenomenon.
When it comes to creating new pieces, you have to look elsewhere than within your immediate industry or product. In other words, if you work in advertisement, don’t look at ads for inspiration. Look beyond the scope of your industry for true and authentic inspiration.
“Imagination and authenticity are better.”
Jean-Paul Goude soon ditches the inspiration conversation and moves on to the logistics of his work. As a creative, it is important to “create a good formula” he says. For Goude, what works best for him is to start work at 11 and his team comes to his house and they work, work, work. As times have changed his creativity and production has had to change to adapt. He mentions that the industry has changed but in his favor. For example, people have started to prefer short videos. For him, that means less work for a change.