The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk | SENATUS



The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

16 October 2014
Start: 17 Oct 2014
End: 08 Feb 2015

Location: National Gallery of Victoria
Address: 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3006, Australia

By Stephanie Warren

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, the first exhibition devoted to the celebrated French couturier who launched his first prêt‐à‐porter collection in 1976 and founded his own couture house in 1997, made its European premiere at Madrid’s Fundacion Mapfre in October 2013.

Already seen in cities including London, New York and Madrid, the exhibition organised by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has smashed attendance records at all its venues, making it the most popular fashion exhibition every staged.

In Australia the exhibition includes a section on Gaultier's muses from Down Under, including Kylie Minogue, Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman, who was his first couture client, as well as models Catherine McNeil, Alexandra Agoston, Gemma Ward and Andreja Pejic.

The National Gallery of Victoria is the only venue in the Asia Pacific region to host the first international exhibition dedicated to the groundbreaking French couturier.

Playful, poetic, and transformative, Gaultier’s superbly crafted and detailed garments are inspired by the beauty and diversity of global cultures

Dubbed fashion’s enfant terrible by the press from the time of his first runway shows in the 1970s, Jean Paul Gaultier is indisputably one of the most important fashion designers of recent decades. From early on, his avant‐garde fashions reflected an understanding of a multicultural society’s issues and preoccupations, shaking up – with invariable good humour – established societal and aesthetic codes.

The exhibition – which the couturier considers to be not only a retrospective but a creation in its own right – will feature approximately 120 ensembles, mainly from the designer’s couture collections, but also from his prêt‐à‐porter line, along with their accessories.

Created between 1976 and 2010, most of the pieces seen here have never been exhibited. Sketches, stage costumes, excerpts from films, runway shows, concerts, videos, dance performances and even television programmes will illustrate the artistic collaborations that have characterized Gaultier’s world: in film (Pedro Almodóvar, Peter Greenaway, Luc Besson, Marc Caro and Jean‐Pierre Jeunet) and contemporary dance (Angelin Preljocaj, Régine Chopinot and Maurice Béjart), not to mention the world of popular music, in France (Yvette Horner and Mylène Farmer) and on the international scene (Madonna and Kylie Minogue).

Fashion photography will also be a major focus of attention, thanks to loans of, in many cases, never‐before‐seen prints from renowned photographers and contemporary artists including Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Erwin Wurm, David LaChapelle, Richard Avedon, Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, Steven Klein, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Pierre et Gilles, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Paolo Roversi and Robert Doisneau.

Keenly interested in all the world’s cultures and countercultures, Gaultier has picked up on the current trends and proclaimed the right to be different, and in the process conceived a new kind of fashion in both the way it is made and worn. Through twists, transformations, transgressions and reinterpretations, he not only erases the boundaries between cultures but also the sexes, creating a new androgyny or playing with subverting hypersexualized fashion codes.

Celebrating the daring inventiveness of his cutting‐edge designs, as well as exploring the audaciously eclectic sources of his ideas, the exhibition will be organized along six different thematic sections tracing the influences, from the streets of Paris to the world of science fiction, that have marked the couturier’s creative development: The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier; The Boudoir; Skin Deep; Eurostar; Urban Jungle; and Metropolis.

Conceived by Projectiles, a Paris‐based architecture firm, the sophisticated exhibition design will showcase the couturier’s designs, as well as prints and video clips that illustrate Gaultier’s many fruitful artistic collaborations. Thirty mannequins with animated faces provided by ingenious audiovisual projections will be placed throughout the galleries, surprising visitors with their lifelike presence.

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