“From the moment you arrive in the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition you realise that all of his creativity, theatricality and originality is going to be on display. Clothes can often look dull when sitting there motionless, but there is nothing dull for one minute about this collection, which is a riot of sound, movement and colour.”
– Alexandra Shulman
After visiting Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition today I couldn’t agree more with Alexandra Sculman. Clothes sometimes can appear dull, confusing and misleading when presented on catwalks. However, with this exhibition today his garments proved me completely wrong. I have a new found love and appreciation for Jean Paul Gaultier, the exhibition was fantastic, his garments exquisite and three-decade career absolutely amazing.
Using video projection, the mannequins throughout the exhibit at the Grand Palais have been given expressive faces, they speak to visitors, smile and sing. One such figure – dressed in a long skirt and striped top – is projected with an image of Gaultier’s own face.
The exhibition works through different themes of Gaultier’s design classics, starting with the iconic Breton stripe. The first galleries show its various incarnations – as a long sequin sheath dress, a huge hat and as a cropped top for men. A room labelled Punky Cancan explores Gaultier’s love of London’s street culture, which he first encountered on frequent visits in the 1970s. Kilts, tartan, ripped denim and camouflage are included, but reappropriated into ballgowns and smart suiting for an unexpected, and very French, chic.
The 150-piece exhibition featured some of Gaultier’s most iconic pieces most famously – Madonna’s original cone-bra bustier tops and bare-breast suspenders. This was without doubt my favourite room of the exhibition. Surrounded by corsets the detail on each of them was unbelievable. I was astonished by the shapes and innovation with each one and definitely couldn’t pick a favourite. I loved them all!
If you are in Paris or visiting Paris I couldn’t recommend this exhibition any more. Its a once in a lifetime experience. It will change your view on Jean Paul Gaultier and maybe even make you consider a corset one day!
Buy tickets now: Jean Paul Gaultier | Grand Palais