Julien Dossena Is the Next Guest Designer at Jean Paul Gaultier


What for you is the biggest challenge in fashion right now?

Actually, never losing the principle of pleasure. We know that it’s a very demanding industry, that’s very competitive, that’s sometimes based on power, possibilities, etc. So it’s about never losing sight of the fact that’s it’s a fantastic métier, which can get lost in all those considerations—the pressure, the responsibilities, constant competition and a super fast pace that demands enormous amounts of energy and attention. It’s the constant challenge: remembering with every collection, with every proposition how lucky we are to be here and to keep on. Especially once you’ve been around a few years. You get up in the morning, you have a team you love, you love working on that particular dress right now, or doing research, or meeting someone you want to dress and who wants to be part of what we do, and to always be connected with the world. As a designer, that’s the very personal challenge of the job.

What’s the balance for staying true to a voice, a vision, a spirit—and then bringing yourself into the mix?

With Jean Paul Gaultier it’s really simple because it’s so contemporary and modern that there’s no relation to a time and how to translate that for now. I could practically take some pieces and put them right back on the runway. It still works. Paco Rabanne was very anchored in the ’70s, so that’s about sending a different message. In the end it’s about respect, for work and for a way of working. Finding that exact balance between what you can bring—a love for your work—and at the same time being transported by Jean Paul Gaultier’s spirit and way of working. Being invited into someone’s house is a form of politeness, so the idea is letting yourself be traversed by that and not vice-versa.

In all modesty, what traits do you think you share?

Curiosity, a certain idea of pleasure, lightness and having fun. Also, the idea of fearless self-expression, in different registers, and having fun with the idea of taste that’s not necessarily [just defined by] Paris, fashion, minimalism. Of putting yourself potentially in danger, but going and exploring something that interests you in the moment.

And differences?

There’s a shared culture but also a different one. Not having the same interests is what makes it compelling—it lets you shake things up. From a cultural point of view, we’re of different generations so I imagine that potentially we don’t see certain things the same way. Jean Paul has already explored everything. He’ll keep expressing himself, of course, but in other domains. In terms of differences, we’re not at all at the same stage of accomplishment.

Julien Dossena will show his collection for Jean Paul Gaultier in July.

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