Jean Paul Gaultier has been crafting looks for Madonna since the 1980s, but their relationship would’ve taken a much deeper, more personal turn if he’d had his way.
In a Wednesday interview with London’s “This Morning,” the French designer revealed that he was “kind of” in love with Madonna throughout their professional collaboration.
“I asked her three times if [she] wanted to marry me,” Gaultier, who identifies as gay, said.
Turns out, the Queen of Pop wasn’t so smitten.
“She said no,” Gaultier quipped.
From a style standpoint, Gaultier’s avant garde, gender-nonconforming looks have been a perfect match for Madonna’s provocative performances over the years. The two have formed a lasting friendship as their work together has gone on to become a part of pop culture history.
Though the conical bra worn by Madonna on her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour is arguably their best-known collaboration, Gaultier also designed the pop superstar’s dominatrix equestrian gear, among other looks, for the 2006 Confessions Tour. He’s also responsible for her futuristic, cagelike corset, displayed on the 2012 MDNA Tour, and her Joan of Arc-inspired ensemble worn at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in May.
More recently, Madonna attended the 2018 “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” Met Gala on Gaultier’s arm, wearing a floor-length black ball gown and veil created for her by the designer. The singer’s daughter, Lourdes Leon, has followed in her mother’s footsteps, modeling for the Gaultier x Supreme campaign earlier this year.
In his “This Morning” interview, Gaultier also recalled an early muse that predated his work with stars and on international runways. In fact, he said a rudimentary version of the conical bra first appeared on his teddy bear, Nana.
“I created it for my teddy bear,” he said. “I wanted to have a doll but my parents said, ‘For a boy? No, no, no, no ― a teddy bear.’ So it was a girl and I could dress her as a girl.”
Watch the full “This Morning” interview with Jean Paul Gaultier below.