See the Famous Photograph That Inspired Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fragrance Ad

In 1926, Man Ray photographed Kiki de Montparnasse holding an African mask, which later inspired the photo for Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique fragrance ad.
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In 1926, Man Ray photographed Kiki de Montparnasse holding an African mask, which later inspired the photo for Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique fragrance ad.

Blog Part Nouveau, or ‘partly new’, delves into fashion history to showcase the inspiration–be it art, photography or design–behind some of today’s biggest fashion moments. It’s fascinating and impossible not to get lost in, so we asked the site’s founder, Lilah Ramzi, to give us a little history lesson each week.

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A proponent of the Surrealist and Dada movements, Man Ray would build a prolific body of work as an artist and photographer. In 1926, Man Ray photographed Alice Ernestine Prin, better known as Kiki de Montparnasse, a social fixture of the Parisian bohemian scene of the 20s (and yes, the same Kiki who would later inspire the eponymous, uber-sexy lingerie brand). Representing the surrealist's affinity for African Art, the photograph features Kiki's resting head alongside that of a tribal African mask.

Years later, the seminal Man Ray photograph would serve as inspiration to a fragrance campaign for Jean Paul Gaultier's signature Classique. Photographed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, the ad is currently on display at The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk at the Brooklyn Museum.

Kiki with African mask by May Ray,1926.

Kiki with African mask by May Ray,1926.

Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique Fragrance Campaign by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, 1999

Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique Fragrance Campaign by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, 1999