“Jean-Paul Gaultier wanted to create a real show about fashion and not only for a privileged few!”
Thierry Suc is one of the greatest French artists’ manager and producer. He has produced the lives and tours of Juliette Greco, Mylène Farmer, Valérie Lemercier, Mc Solaar, Michel Sardou, Calogero, Zazie, Etienne Daho and Yannick Noah. He has co-produced musicals such as Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, played in Sydney, Toronto, London, Milan, Sao Paulo or Broadway. For the past three months and until June 16th, 2019, he has been producing the “Jean-Paul Gaultier Fashion Freak Show” at the Folies Bergères in Paris, and has agreed to answer our questions. It is an exclusive interview to IFA Paris.
A scene from the Jean-Paul Gaultier Freak Show © TS Productions
Michel Temman: Thierry Suc, what was the genesis of the Fashion Freak Show? How was this show born? No doubt you have known Jean-Paul Gaultier for a long time: quite early (around 1991 right?) he made the stage outfits of the singer Mylène Farmer that you produced?
Thierry Suc: Jean-Paul Gaultier and myself, we met about ten years ago for the show of Mylène Farmer at the Stade de France where he provided the costumes. Then we worked together again for the show of Florence Foresti in Bercy in 2012 and for Mylène Farmer again 2013. At the end of these meetings, Jean-Paul Gaultier suggested one day to see each other and he told me about his desire to create a real show about fashion, since he had always presented parades as shows but unfortunately only for a privileged few. I found this idea very innovative and four years ago we started to develop this project which today has become the first fashion, dance and music show in the world: the Fashion Freak Show.
“The first fashion, dance and music show in the world” © TS Productions
M.T.: You are known as producer of concerts and tours of great artists – Mylène Farmer but also Etienne Daho, Mc Solaar, Calogero, Zazie, Raphael, Valérie Lemercier, Jamel Debbouze, Laurent Gerra and many others… Was riding such a show a premiere for you? How do you describe it? What were the difficulties and how did you work with Jean-Paul Gaultier?
Thierry Suc: This show, which is not exactly a musical, nor actually a review, nevertheless corresponds more to the codes of these two categories. We must take heavy financial risks before starting and embarking on such an adventure, and before hoping to write off the investment one day.
Thierry Suc © TS Productions
So it was important to bring together a cast of creators around Jean-Paul. Several talents joined us: Tonie Marshall to co-direct the direction, Nile Rodgers for the soundtrack, Marion Mottin for the choreographies and Raphael Cioffi for the writing of the booklet.
M.T.: Could you give us one or two anecdotes about the perfectionism of Jean-Paul Gaultier, his way of looking for aesthetics and beauty on the stage of the Folies Bergères?
Dita von Teese in the Jean-Paul Gaultier Freak Show © TS Productions
Thierry Suc: Jean-Paul has been there for months in an omnipresent way. Of course, he still has to create two haute couture fashion shows a year, but we can say that the Fashion Freak Show has completely hijacked him since the summer of 2018. He sees everything, his eyes and his ears perceive everything. And full of kindness and humanity, he keeps a sharp eye on the smallest details.
M.T.: Are you planning to take this show to Asia? In China?
Thierry Suc: This show was designed to travel around the world. Many Asian producers are interested and of course, we hope very much that it can be presented in the biggest Chinese cities. Only the future will tell!
The Jean-Paul Gaultier Fashion Freak Show is in Paris on the Folies Bergères stage until Sunday, June 16th, 2019. For more information: www.jpgfashionfreakshow.com