Jean Paul Gaultier wishes he had invented the condom.

The legendary designer described the contraceptive as the "most beautiful accessory of the century" and claimed not being involved in its creation was one of his few regrets.

Accepting an award for his contribution to menswear at the amfAR Inspirational Gala hosted by jewellers Piaget in New York last week, he quipped to the audience: "I regret not to have created the most beautiful accessory of the century, which is the one that protects. It is the condom."

Also speaking at the event, which was held at the city's public library, was Kylie Minogue, who praised the designer for making "nice legs" acceptable.

She said: "If you have nice legs, you've got Gaultier to thank for making that acceptable."

Jean Paul later admitted he had "no idea" he was the first person to be honoured at the event, which also recognised the contribution made by singer Ricky Martin.

The designer said: "I had no idea I was the first. I guess it's because I'm the oldest one."