Monday 29 December 2014

Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. NGV Melbourne

On my recent trip to Melbourne I was very lucky and had time to make it to the National Gallery of Victoria for their absolute blockbuster Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition. I hadn't heard of the exhibition before I arrived in Melbourne, but I'm so thrilled that I was able to see it. It's so much more than a fashion exhibit.

It's totally amazing. Sensational even. A must see. The exhibition was created in 2011 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. More than 1.3 million people have seen it so far as it has travelled the world. They have added a selection of Australian Muses to the final room for this Australian event. Melbourne is the only Australian venue for this show. Yes, it's worth a special visit to Melbourne to see it. It's that good. 

Rather incredibly JPG tells us at the start of the exhibition that he was initially not keen about the exhibition because he thinks that an exhibition can look like a funeral. Let me tell you, Jean Paul Gaultier From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is not funereal in any way. It is not a static retrospective, it is more the best installation art you've ever seen. 

We had just seen a stage version of Grease
 a few nights earlier. And here
Grease is still inspiring fashion, decades later!
The Odyssey begins.
To walk in to every room was jaw dropping.

JPG talking to us via Canadian technology.
You can see why Billy Idol thinks JPG designs for him. 

The animatronic models were incredible.
Quite mesmerising. 

Every room is a different themed experience. The Boudoir.

Angel's Leap/Saut de l'Ange
Black Swan collection
autumn-winter 2004-5

Croissants always end up on your hips right?

My favourite room I think. Punk Cancan. The English were the first to appreciate JPG's work.

For those of us who will never go to a runway show
This is as close as we'll ever get. 

At first glance things can look so conservative.

But they're not really. 
Genius. I love it. I want some.

 I particularly loved these three Paris themed dresses.

Skin Deep. An extraordinary room exploring the notion that clothes don't have a gender (he excludes bras and medieval codpieces), and the notions of outer wear nudity. No, it's not for everyone. 

Amsterdam recreated.
 Metropolis. Showcasing JPG's work as a costume designer for film. He has worked on 9 movies. 

Urban Jungle. An astonishing room. I didn't get enough time in here. JPG takes inspiration from many peoples, codes and traditions.

And then reinvents it for Eurovision.
Parrot feather bolero and crepe jumpsuit
worn by Dana International
for the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest

There's so much here. 

Even shopping trolleys get the Gaultier treatment. 

Of course not everything is what it seems. 

A mere 1600 hours and about a bajillion
beads and you can create anything. 

The detail everywhere is astonishing.
This on a pair of pants. 
 It was interesting for me to ponder the notion that Haute Couture only exists in Paris, like any other appellation- it is defined by geography. Champagne. Bordeaux. Haute Couture. And everything must be done by hand. 

Muses. The final room explorers Jean Paul's muses- international and Australian. Kylie. Cate. Nicole. 
A frock worn by Cate Blanchett
in the Muses room.
I love the vaguely creepy chair. 

Naturally, there is a large Gaultier filled shop at the end of the exhibition. Much of it striped. 

I'm not sure how I resisted these. 

The cars moving in for the Friday night celebration.
Sadly, I couldn't stay...
These photos convey but the merest glimpse of the JPG experience. If you really can't make it to Melbourne before February, then check it out online. Or better still head to Paris between April 1 2015 and August 3 2015 to see it at the Grand Palais. Oh, if only I could. The exhibition will then go to Munich in September 2015. 

Open daily, 10am–5pm
Until Feb 8 2015
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Friday Nights at Jean Paul Gaultier
5.30–9.30pm from 24 Oct 2014 – 6 Feb 2015
(excluding 26 Dec 2014 & 2 Jan 2015)

JPG isn't my Paris really, but I'm still dreaming. 
Dreaming of France is a wonderful Monday meme
from Paulita at An Accidental Blog 


Esme said...

thank you for stopping by. how sis you resist the striped bags

skiourophile said...

Wasn't it incredible - the faces on the models were so mesmerising as to (almost) detract from the clothes. And I loved those Eiffel Tower heels too (perhaps not so good for Parisian cobblestones!). It was definitely one of the best fashion shows I've seen in a gallery.

Unknown said...

That's brilliant, thank you so much for sharing this Louise.