The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier opens in Melbourne

Monday, October 20, 2014

Two wonderful exhibitions mixing art with fashion opened at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Melbourne last Friday; The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to Catwalk, and Express Yourself: Romance Was Born for Kids. (The RWB exhibition will feature in my next blog post)

 


Baby and I went to the media preview of The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to Catwalk last Thursday.  Surrounded by 300 or so media folk were treated to a 'conversation' with arguably the most famed modern day French Couturier of our time, as Jean Paul Gaultier and the Curators of his world-class exhibition graced Melbourne for the opening weekend.

:: Wearing this dress ::

Melbourne and the NGV is somewhat privileged to host such an exquisite exhibition, which started life in Montreal, moved to New York and onto London before opening in Victoria's capital city last week.
 
:: Installation Image c/o National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) ::

Over his 40 year career Jean Paul Gaultier has worked with, and grown fond, of many Australian stars, frequently noting his appreciation for Baz Luhrmann's style and aesthetic, and regularly acknowledging his unlikely friendship with super-star pop princess Kylie Minogue. Last week however, focused on his working partnership with Australian supermodel Andreja Pejic (former androgynous model Andrej Pejic), jetting to Melbourne to surprise the designer on the eve of the opening, appearing as a women for the first time since undergoing gender transition surgery.

Jean Paul Gaultier with his Australian muses, Andreja Pejić & Alexandra Agoston

It would be no surprise to hear The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to Catwalk is an outstanding exhibition.


Most others I spoke to last Thursday proved to be as overwhelmed as I, and we agreed the exhibition is almost impossible to take in on first visit. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier features some 140 pieces of intricate garments spanning Gaultier's 40 year career. Each piece is displayed in thematic sections which make up the designer's major influences: The Odyssey, The Boudoir, Punk Cancan, Skin Deep, Metropolis, Urban Jungle and Muses.

:: Installation Image c/o National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) ::

One of the exciting features of the exhibition, which is also a little peculiar to the eye when first entering the The Odyssey is a selection of 32 animated mannequins dressed in Gaultier's designs, which appear to talk, sing and look around the room as if they were alive as their real life equivalents. Using high-definition audio-visual projections, a pre-recorded Jean Paul Gaultier talks from a stationary mannequin, alongside Ève Salvail and Smashing Pumpkins/Hole bass player Melissa Auf der Maur.


Each room is filled with mesmerizing pieces taken from various stages of Gaultier's career; from movie star designed gowns to movie set costumes, a moving catwalk, provocative pieces, and a fine selection of corsets and cone bra's, although this merely scratches the surface of the highly acclaimed exhibition, which is why The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier must be seen more than once.



The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to Catwalk, will run from 17 Oct 2014 to 8 Feb 2015. Tickets start from $22 - adult price.


There are additional programs and events running alongside The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier such as the return of NGV's Friday Nights with parties held under the Grand Hall's kaleidoscopic glass ceiling, accompanied by a stellar line-up of live music from musicians and DJs as well as pop-up fashion talks, bar and dining choices. More here.

For further JPG related event details head to NGV's website here.

I know this is a phrase you hear all the time, but The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier a celebrated exhibition that should not be missed before the exquisite collection heads to Paris next year.

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