What happens when fashion legends unite? A party of course! This week the fashion world flocked to London’s Barbican for the opening of Jean Paul Gaultier’s The Fashion World exhibition. The celebrations were more than eccentric, Gaultier himself arrived wearing a floor length skirt and walked arm in arm with a Queen Elizabeth II look-a-like. The star studded event was famed by muses Erin O’Connor and Jodie Parfitt whilst talented Rufus Wainright serenaded the guests from a baby grand. Who wouldn’t have wanted to be there?
The celebrated exhibition has been slowly making its way around the international fashion circuit with stops in Madrid, New York and Montreal along the way. The legend turns 63 this year and the collection takes a long reflecting look at the work of the man who brought us the iconic sailor stripe and distorted corsets. Featuring more than 165 iconic and innovative designs, including the conical corsets of Madonna’s 1990 Blonde Ambition world tour, pieces created for the films of Pedro Almodovar and showcasing the imagery from photographers including Andy Warhol and Peter Lindburgh and many more. The exhibition is more than a showcase of the work of Gaultier, it is an interactive marvel that invites the visitor to walk through the mind of the designer himself.
Unusually, each visit begins with an introduction from the legend via a projected image that animates the face of a mannequin. The projections feature throughout the exhibit and at first seem pretty creepy but that is mainly due to the lifelike resemblances. You are transported through the ages, from punk rock London to the streets of Paris and back again, the theatrical elements (stages, lights, music and moving runways) excite and dramatise the entire exhibit and it is truly a once in a lifetime chance to see the iconic designs up close and personal.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s ‘The Fashion World, From the Catwalk to the Sidewalk‘ takes residence at The Barbican, London from the 9th of April to the 25th of August 2014.
Get your fashion fix and feast your eyes on the works of a legend before it moves.