The Legendary Fashion Designer Behind Fifth Element Costumes

Many people would agree that the 1997 film Fifth Element is a cult classic. Luc Besson’s action movie was ahead of its time. One of the things that caught the attention of viewers from all over the world was bizarre costumes.

However, most people do not even know who exactly designed the wardrobe for this motion picture.

Jean Paul Gaultier, a French prêt-à-porter and haute couture fashion designer, was responsible for every costume you have seen in the movie. Cross-cultural fusion and gender fluidity are common in today’s fashion, but it was all new 20 years ago.

Gaultier took advantage of the extraterrestrial settings of the movie. That is the reason why the eccentric Ruby Rod wore a tight leopard jumpsuit. At the same time, Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg portrayed by Gary Oldman has eccentric outfits that mix the fashion of Asia, Italy, and the southern United States. Even the McDonald’s workers got new uniforms from Gaultier!

The iconic Leeloo’s bondage costume was designed at the very end of the pre-production. This outfit definitely was remembered most by the viewers. Milla Jovovich was not shy to wear it. “It was as if I was just filming in a swimsuit. I was 19 and had a great body. I did not feel embarrassed at all,” the actress claims.

Jean Paul Gaultier was always into the sci-fi theme. He enjoyed the aesthetics of London teenagers with tall mohawks, fetishists with full-body tattoos, and Parisian black women in men’s coats over colorful dresses. There were no restrictions in the fantasy world of the fashion designer. Needless to say his vision affected Fifth Element vastly. The movie would be completely different if it was not for him.