Dear Shaded Viewers,
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk opens at London's Barbican Art Gallery today. This is the first major exhibition devoted to l'enfant terrible and not to be missed.
It is quite overwhelming to see over forty years of Gaultier under one roof. A dizzying 165 pieces of couture and ready-to-wear are displayed with headdresses and meter-high mohawks by Odile Gilbert, spectacular photography, vintage ad campaigns and all manner of delightful oddities, including a Spitting Image puppet of the couturier in a kilt.
This is really an exhibition of the passions and obsessions of Jean Paul Gaultier. Eight galleries are themed accordingly: “The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier,” “Eurotrash,” “Muses,” “The Boudoir,” “Skin Deep,” “Punk CanCan,” “Urban Jungle” and “Metropolis.”
“The Odyssey” explores the designer's childhood, which is a surprisingly current preoccupation, according to the 61-year-old. Super-cute family photos are shown here, along with his many riffs on the Breton stripe. The print was inspired by little Jean Paul's favourite sailor-shirt. “They go with everything, never go out of style and never will,” he says confidently.
“The Boudoir” section is dedicated to corsetry, the colonne vert