Chic futurism: Jean-Paul Gaultier and the fashion of “The Fifth Element” turns 20

20 years ago, the director Luc Besson premiered a science-fiction movie that has incredibly survived the test of time: The Fifth Elementwhere Korben Dallas and company seek to save the planet from total annihilation thanks to the power of the most beautiful humanoid we could imagine… Leloo.

In The Fifth Element, Besson let his imagination fly at the highest level in every field: script, art direction, cast… and also in costume design. Instead of entrusting the world of 23rd century New York to anyone, he decided to put himself in the hands of a designer who, in 1997, was already living in the future: Jean Paul Gaultier.

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The terrible kid of fashion, known for its sailors, its avant-garde designs and the iconic bustier of madonna, was in charge of bringing this universe to life. The influence of the designer is clear from the beginning, when we see Leeloo emerge from an incubator, covered by an unforgettable outfit made of simple white bands, and that Gaultier made precisely so that Jovovich mile could move freely, as well as the second with a knitted crop top, latex suspenders and hip pants.

The Fifth Element

Image: Gaumont

On the other hand, the look of Bruce Willis It was inspired by more classic designs (remember that he wears a gala tuxedo during the opera scene) and masculine, such as the tight orange shirt he wears at the beginning of the film. The villainous Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (played by Gary Oldman) wears a retro-futuristic fashion combination that combines Hitler with the dandy and the nouveau riche thanks to a chocolate striped suit that he wears alongside an oversized iridescent green shirt. Without a doubt, it matches perfectly with the acrylic accessory that he wears on his head and that keeps his hairstyle perfect.

The Fifth Element

Image: Gaumont

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The secondary characters were also important for Gaultier, and proof of this is Chris Tucker and his unforgettable Ruby Rhod, whose wardrobe was inspired by the sensuality and androgyny of Princeas seen in the black jumpsuit full of flowers on the neckline, or in the incredible leopard look with the blonde wig:

The Fifth Element

Image: Gaumont

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However, two of the most memorable designs from the film are the blue ones worn by the stewardesses (reimagined by Britney Spears in your video Toxic), as well as the waitresses at Mc Donald’s, who definitely took their uniforms to new heights with the help of Gaultier.

The Fifth Element

Image: Gaumont

Next May, the film will return to theaters in full 4K restoration in celebration of this anniversary, and if we can’t see it again in theaters, then we’ll dust off our DVD to once again enjoy the futuristic nostalgia of Luc Besson and Jean Paul-Gaultier, who brought an explosion of color to a genre dominated by shades of green, gray and chrome for far too long.

Let’s remember the original trailer of The Fifth Element:

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Chic futurism: Jean-Paul Gaultier and the fashion of “The Fifth Element” turns 20


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