FASHION FREAK SHOW
Fashion’s enfant terrible, Jean-Paul Gaultier, lit up Queen Elizabeth Hall with his supercharged, super fun and super professional cabaret fashion extravaganza, The Fashion Freak Show. Following a hugely successful run in Paris at the legendary Folies Bergere – it relocated to Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, a far more sedate venue associated with classical music recitals and poetry readings. But as they say ‘the times they are a-changing’ and the hall was packed to capacity with an audience eager to participate. Following the designer’s life, the show featured his beloved teddy bear, Nana, his (many) obsessions, the people he encountered and the challenges he overcame to fulfil his childhood dream.
The review show mixes cabaret, fashion, and performance and as Gaultier says ‘it’s my journey through fashion, design and a look behind the scenes, that as the lining of a jacket, is often just as beautiful as the outside.’
The show is a joyful mix of entertainers – models, male sex objects oozing desire and mature supermodels alongside fashion Icons (yes, even a lookalike Anna Wintour).
The cast consisted of singers, hip hop and circus-trained performers, including the Charleston World Champion Jean – Charles Zamaboo (also an international coach in dance and physical expression, a writer composer and a choreographer), Nacer Marsad, the French champion, and world number 2 for acrobatic rock and Demi Mondain, a singer from the underground scene with several albums to her name.
And then there were guest stars, or as Gaultier refers to them ‘Friends in high places’ projected on screens who lent their faces, creative eyes and voices, such as actress Catherine Deneuve, playing the continuity announcer and “directrice” of couture. The legendary singer, actress, painter and presenter, Amanda Lear, the ‘original Disco Queen’ and friend of Gaultier, ‘we’ve been knocking around together for years’.
The show was brilliant and so was the audience. Many had gone to a great deal of trouble to ‘dress the part’ and were singing, dancing, waving their arms and banging their feet.
August in London is not where TheEye would choose to be. Well, there are the compensations: parking and restaurant reservations are a doddle, but this unique and joyous show really made it worthwhile.