Jean Paul Gaultier @ Barbican Gallery

Apart from having lunch at their Foodhall, the purpose of our visit to the Barbican was to see the exhibition “The Fashion World Of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”…

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The show was conceived by the Montreal Museum of Fine Art which also owned most of the frocks on the display. The first exhibition was premiered in 2011 at Montreal…

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I was very much intrigued by the show because my dear friend, Letizia, who saw the same exhibition at San Francisco last year, was raving how amazing the whole experience was.

As I approached a row of mannequins on the pedestal which were clad with iconic garments by Monsieur Gaultier, their faces lit up and started to greet me by winking or smiling or even chatting! How remarkable!! This bewitching experience was created by the overhead projectors, which incorporated motion sensors, shone moving images on the mannequins’ faces.

Jean Paul Gaultier greets each visitor with his personal welcome…

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The experience was rather unsettling at first because the effect was so convincing and made the mannequins so lifelike…

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The exhibition showcased Mr.Gaultier’s creations from the early 70s to the present day…

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There were so many collections I admired but the one I loved the most was his punk themed collections…

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I was especially besotted with the detailing of this artificial fur skirt. The monsieur cleverly utilised the texture of the fleece to mimic air-brush like effect…

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There was also a “camouflage” dress…

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and a cape made with the same detailing of a MA1 flight jacket…

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Another of Mr.Gaultier’s take on the punk was an haute couture dress with “Whirl of legs” lining…

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The couturier has dressed many celebrities during his long career but the most famous one has to be Madonna. The corset with the infamous cone bra she wormed during her Blonde Ambition tour earned its wearer as well as dresser a significant amount of media exposure in the early 90s. The actual article was on the display together with the costumes of his another pop star client, Kylie Minogue…

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Nowadays, there seems to be blurred definition between what is underwear and what is not. However, it was sensational in the late 80s when Madonna debuted a Gaultier’s pink satin bodysuit. Now, the original garment appeared a little tired and even humble amongst the more opulent frocks. Yet, the item carried certain cultural significance on its slight shoulder straps.

The images below are what caught my eyes at the exhibition.

A black dress with an angel bodice…

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A dress with graphic insets…

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Digital printed insets made the frock strangely alluring…

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Complicated details around the hip of a Japanese kimono fabric inspired dress…

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A crocheted dress with structured shoulders…

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A cage like construction holds up the garment…

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A feather dress with the subtle nuance of the 30’s…

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A fur headdress inspired by the Eskimo…

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The Mongolian nomad?…

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Oversize hair accessory…

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A spectacular “Parrot” dress…

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A knitted dress with a giant face…

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The dress which is there but “barely” there…

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A man with a feathered bodice…

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A fez hat with eyelash…

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Hubbie & I both heartily agreed that we enjoyed the show enormously.
Gaultier’s intricate and sensual yet lighthearted and witty creations were entertaining and inspirational…

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This highly recommendable exhibition will be on until the 25th of August. Don’t miss out if you are around, or you will regret it forever…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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