The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

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Commencing the 9th April- 25th August 2014; at the Barbican Art Gallery in London comes the first ever, major exhibition for one of the world’s most celebrated French Couturier; Jean Paul Gaultier.

© Pierre et Gilles. Courtesy Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris

Although he has never received any proper training in design, the 61-year-old fashion designer, once dubbed fashion’s enfant terrible by the press around the time of his first catwalk show; made his name from an early age when he began sending in sketches to couture stylists; in 1970, he was then hired as Pierre Cardin’s assistant who was extremely impressed with his work.

The exhibition displays a breathtaking variety of around 165 cutting-edge couture and ready-to-wear garments; each item delving deeper into Gaultier’s fashion world.

Stunning costumes from film and performances including iconic pieces; such as the conical bra and corsets as worn by Madonna, stage costumes designed for Kylie Minogue and pieces for the films of Pedro Almodover.

© Matthew Lloyd / Getty

Throughout the exhibition, there are eight thematic sections revolving around Gaultier’s work: The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier, Punk Cancan, Muses, The Boudoir, Metropolis, “Euro Trash”, Skin Deep and Urban Jungle.

The Muses section has been expanded to feature models, musicians and performers all around the world whom have inspired the creative mind of Jean Paul Gaultier; some of his popular favourites from Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss to Erin O’Connor, Beth Ditto and Dita Von Teese.

In addition to this, photography pieces by collaborators from the likes of: Miles Aldridge, Peter Lindbergh and Andy Warhol play a key role in the exhibition; which was organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, alongside classic footage of catwalks, presentations, concerts, music videos, films and dance performances; all of which was collaborated by Jean Paul Gaultier himself.

One of the most sought after pieces of Gaultier is the spitting image puppet of the designer, which will be on display for the first time ever in a UK gallery along with numerous other pieces created between 1970 and today.

When asked in an interview, he described two reasons he was excited for the exhibition at the Barbican:

“The first reason is that I always want to go to London, because London, for me, is a special place. In England I’ve got so many memories and I’ve had so many experiences and the English were the first ones to come to my shows and appreciate my fashion. The second thing is the Barbican. It’s an honour for me because it’s a wonderful gallery and a wonderful place with extraordinary architecture and I think that showing my work there will be beautiful.”

© Matthew Lloyd / Getty

He couldn’t be more wrong! Where better to display some of your finest and most prized work than in the centre of the arts and performances museum, right in the heart of the capital.

Check out the Events Programme where highlights include: An ‘In’ conversation between Jean Paul Gaultier and the legendary fashion editor formerly of the International New York Times and Suzy Menkes, the newly appointed International Vogue Editor.

Gaultier’s raw talent has conceived a new kind of fashion in both the way it is made and worn; through twists and turns, interpretations and developments; he crosses tight boundaries between cultures, sexes and beliefs resulting in a brand new ground for the progression of fashion and everything that style stands for.

More than one million supporters in North America and Europe have already visited the critically acclaimed tour.

A ‘not to be missed’ opportunity, appearing until the 25th August 2014; London’s Barbican is the place to be in order to celebrate one of the most iconic couture Fashion Designers of this era, Jean Paul Gaultier.

© Matthew Lloyd / Getty


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Written by Amy Evans

Graduated from University College Falmouth with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism. I have a large weakness for fashion and a love for designers as well as a strong passion for writing and blogging. With experience working at London Fashion Week, a fashion blog up and running and previous work published, I am prepared to take the Fashion Journalism world by storm!

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