The Daily Telegraph calls him “French fashion's only marquis"
The Daily Telegraph calls him “French fashion's only marquis” and probably talks of both, his roots and his passion for art, that follows royal tradition, so to say. The “boy with the blanket”, who in his younger days was sent to the woods to “come back as man” was born in Casablanca in 1949 and has had huge impact on the fashion scene since the 70s.
The designs of Jean-Charles de Castelbajac always speak a language with a high recognition value and always stayed on point throughout decades, as his latest works with the house of Benetton and Palace Skateboards show. He is one of the names for the books.
Imagine spending time with and taking inspiration from The Sex Pistols, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. In that mixture of social criticism, the clear colors of Pop Art, the artistic claim, the individualism and inquiring mind you somewhere find Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, who dressed stars like Farrah Fawcett for the TV show “Charlie’s Angels” and Eddie Murphy in his unforgettable role in the 80s movie “Coming to America”. He is said to have pioneered Snoopy and Mickey Mouse fashion and he invented the stuffed animal coat in the late 80s.
The pictures of Vanessa Paradis in her Snoopy coat in 1988 are just as iconic as the pictures of the Kermit coat Lady Gaga wore and which went viral in 2009, almost exactly 21 years later.
The cartoon knit sweaters he had designed for ICEBERG back in the days are still highly collectible Vintage items and many of his ideas got adapted by various names in the business over the years. Alexander McQueen, whose glove-bag designs for his collaboration with H&M in 2009 reminded me of Castelbajac in the early 80s is only one name of fashion professionals who seemed to take inspiration from “JC/DC”.
Yet, World Youth Day 1997 was one of his most moving commissions as he was dressing Pope John Paul II, along with a parade of 500 bishops and 5,000 priests, in vestments adorned with rainbow crosses.
As said before… One for the books!