Melbourne, and the National Gallery of Victoria, is playing host to cult fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s fashion exhibition. I went along to take a look and was so impressed with the detail.
Gaultier changed the fashion landscape, especially in the 80’s and 90’s when he designed Madonna’s famous gold pointy breasted corset and dressed celebrities such as Cate Blanchet, Kylie Minogue, Beyonce and Nicole Kidman for the red carpet and couture occasions.
I was waiting for my friend outside the NGV when a very excited lady sat next to me and told me how much she enjoyed the exhibition and had come over from Sydney to see it. She loved the lay out of the exhibition and the interactive talking mannequins. Her excitement made me even more excited to enter and see it for myself.
The exhibition features hundreds of Gaultiers designs, many that have never been displayed before in his 40 years of design. The mannequins are so cool and many of their faces have moving images projected onto them and they look amazingly real. Some of them sing songs and sometimes they talk. The mannequin that greets you as you enter is Jean Paul Gaultier himself. I think the mannequins really made the exhibition extra special.
Gaultier grew up in Paris and was very close to his grandmother. Growing up, he loved her sense of style and would spend hours adapt her clothes, mainly old corsets, into imaginative in creations.
He wanted to play with dolls but a teddy was all he was given. The teddy below is called Nana. Nana was Gaultiers favourite toy growing up and you can see he stuck newspaper pointy cone breasts on it when he was just 6 years old! His signature style was coming out even then!
The curator of the exhibition was presenting and explaining a lot of the items displayed. I’m not sure how often this happens, but I think on Friday nights there are going to be bands and extra activities at the exhibition that would make it the perfect time to visit.
The sheer detail and creativity of Gaultiers creations was mind boggling. Hand made to the guidelines of Paris Haute Couture, Gaultier is truly an amazing craftsman. I spent a lot of time looking up close at how things were stitched and beaded. Stunning! This jumpsuit would have been my favourite. It’s made with parrot feathers and I think it’s simple yet so beautiful. You can’t see in this photo, but this Mannequin had a beautiful talking face. She also sand you a song. The dress above was amazing. That is ALLLLLLL hand beaded to look like a leopard. Tiny tiny beads all in different directions to give the texture of the fur. There are even claws beaded and a face. You need to see this detail.
There are various rooms featuring his various collections including Punk, Mermaids, Virgins, Muses and more. I was so thrilled to see these masterpieces in real life and learn more about the life of such a living legend that has woven and adjusted so much of our pop culture.
I haven’t put too many photos here because photos are not doing justice to the sheer beauty and experience that you will get from visiting the exhibition yourself. There are many different rooms to visit within and hundreds of exquisite gowns to see and stories to read about them. The gift shop features a number of lovely souvenirs too.
Go and see it for yourself and let me know what you thought in the comments below.
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is hosting the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition until 8 February 2015. Adult full priced tickets are $22. Well worth it!
Take a ride on the slow golden carousel before you leave the gallery too!