The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

As the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival wraps up and the #vamff hashtags disappear for another year, The National Gallery of Victoria has announced the arrival of Jean Paul Gaultier’s exhibition to satisfy the needs of any fashion fanatic. Showing at the gallery later this year, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk features over 140 of the designer’s spectacular ensembles spanning from his early prêt-à-porter collections to recent haute couture pieces. Curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot of Burberry and Lanvin runway fame, the exhibition is the first to celebrate the influences and creative talents of Jean Paul Gaultier and his impact on modern fashion.
Since opening in Montreal, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier has attracted success from New York to London with over a million visitors. The National Gallery of Victoria will be the only Asia-Pacific venue on the exhibit’s international tour and will be home to exclusive garments not seen in other parts of the world. Kylie Minogue’s iconic stage costumes and exquisite gowns worn by Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman on the red carpet are among the pieces included in Gaultier’s section on his Australian muses.
“Preparing this exhibition I have realised how strong my ties to Australia are – Nicole Kidman was my first couture client; I have dressed Cate Blanchett on numerous occasions; Kylie is a dear friend and I have had the pleasure of working closely with her on her tours. I have also been working for many years with models Gemma Ward, Catherine McNeil, Jarrod Scott, and the list goes on. The people are what make this country great and you Australians certainly excel!” Gaultier said on the subject of the Melbourne exhibit.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s own ability to excel became evident when he was hired as a studio assistant by Pierre Cardin at 18. His prêt-à-porter label was established six years later and the rest, as they say, is history. The creation of the men’s skirt, his release of fragrances for men and women, hosting a television show and creative directorship of Hermès are just some of Gaultier’s crowning achievements over the years. Also notable is his contribution to the world of hautè couture, explored throughout the exhibition. From the design of the conical bra made famous by Madonna’s Blonde Ambition world tour, the influential Les Indes Galantes S/S collection in 2000 to Dita Von Teese’s butterfly-inspired burlesque dress revealed on Gaultier’s runway earlier this year, there’s no doubting the designer’s influence and ability to challenge convention.
Tony Ellwood, Director of The National Gallery of Victoria said, “Jean Paul Gaultier’s radical designs break down stereotypes and clichés, questioning preconceived standards of beauty and challenging societal, gender and aesthetic ‘norms’. The results are exquisite works of art; exuberant, witty, surprising and dramatic. This is a unique chance for our visitors to experience the world of Jean Paul Gaultier; a world that extends beyond the catwalk into the realms of art, music and film.”
Organised by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk opens at The National Gallery of Victoria October 17 and will run until February 8, 2015.

Visit www.ngv.vic.gov.au for further information.

All Images provided by the national gallery of Victoria

Image Credit
William Baker
Kylie Minogue
Virgins (or Madonnas) collection, Immaculata gown
Jean Paul Gaultier Haute couture, spring- summer 2007
net lace dress with large patterned embroidery and white linen cut-outs
© William Baker

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Written by Marnie Buchecker

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