My London: Jean-Paul Gaultier

Rose Beer
Jean-Paul Gaultier: Getty Images

Home is…

Paris, where I was born and raised. I currently reside in the Marais district.

Where do you stay in London?

I don’t have one hotel where I stay regularly. For years I used to stay at Blakes in South Kensington. It was one of the first boutique hotels and I love Anouska Hempel’s eclectic taste.

Which shops do you rely on?

Dover Street Market. I try to visit every time I am here. Not just for fashion but also for Rose Bakery — they have the best scrambled eggs and the best carrot cake. I love to go to Portobello Road over a weekend, mostly for the pleasure of finding something unexpected.

Portobello Road (Shutterstock / olesea vetrila)

Last play you saw?

My Fashion Freak Show, which was presented at the Southbank Centre during its summer festival last year. It’s the story of my life through song and dance, but also I wanted to show theatre-goers how a fashion show is made. The first play I saw was The Rocky Horror Show in 1973, which tells you a bit about my age! I was attracted by the poster I had seen on the King’s Road. It was pre-punk but the change was already in the air.

Fashion Freak Show

Bus, taxi or Tube?

I love to walk around London.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

I would make a decree that everyone be an English eccentric for a day.

If you could buy any building in London and live there, which would it be?

The Tower of London… I’d love to have the Crown Jewels for a day.

Who is your hero?

Pierre Cardin. I started working with him 50 years ago, in 1970. He taught me that you need freedom to create. He came to my last show, he is 97 and still very active.

Favourite club?

I loved The Blitz and The Wag but they are gone now. I go out less in London nowadays. In the Seventies, I was thinking of moving to London because these were such good clubs.

Where do you work out?

I don’t work out, but I guess that walking around can be considered working out!

Best meal you’ve had?

I’ve had many memorable meals in London but what has marked me most was the first time I had a full English breakfast. Eggs, sausage, baked beans and fresh orange juice… It was in the early Seventies at a bed and breakfast near Earl’s Court. I still love an English breakfast.

What are you up to at the moment for work?

I had my last couture show on 22 January at the Châtelet Theatre and have just returned from Moscow where I presented the Fashion Freak Show.

Who do you call when you want to have fun?

I would say Boy George. He goes out less now but spending time with him is always lots of fun.

Bog George (Getty Images)

What makes someone a Londoner?

Attitude.