Jean Paul Gaultier's Fashion Freak Show

This fashion show-meets-musical revue ode to an inimitable designer is making its Australian debut at Brisbane Festival 2024.
Sarah Ward
Published on June 06, 2024


Life has been a cabaret for one of the world's inimitable designers since 2018, when Jean Paul Gaultier's Fashion Freak Show first premiered in Paris. Couture, colour, flair, excess, passion, a larger-than-life attitude: they're all channelled into this fashion show-meets-musical revue that steps through its namesake's career and promises a time at the theatre like nothing else. More than 200 original Gaultier pieces feature. His 50 years making threads are in the spotlight. Unsurprisingly, the whole thing also plays out like a party.

So far, London, Tokyo, Munich, Porto, Lisbon, Milan, Barcelona and Osaka have also revelled in the Jean Paul Gaultier's Fashion Freak Show experience. Next, it's Brisbane's turn. The River City will welcome the Australian debut of the show — and the Aussie-exclusive season, too — during Brisbane Festival 2024. Donning attire that Gaultier would approve of isn't a prerequisite of attending the production, but you know that you want to dress the part if you're heading along.

Jean Paul Gaultier's Fashion Freak Show will kick off with Brisbane Festival itself, starting on Friday, August 30. The Australian season runs until Sunday, September 15, taking over the South Bank Piazza — which forms part of the Festival Garden for the duration of Brisbane Festival.

Of course Jean Paul Gaultier's Fashion Freak Show emphasises its titular figure's boundary-pushing work, his focus on individual expression, and his championing of queer aesthetics and LGBTQIA+ causes. Alongside the hefty range of outfits, it also features a suitable genre-defying soundtrack of disco, funk, pop, rock, new wave and punk tunes as actors and dancers — plus circus artists as well — take to the stage.

The diverse cast of faces bringing the show to life spans even further, too, with celebrities and other special guests filming cameos that play during the production.

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