Last week Julie (from Vintageattitude) and I met up with hopes aloft to see the John Paul Gaultier Exhibition at the Barbican in London. We walked in, immediately drawn to a collection of iconic Bretons – the stripe so representative of Gaultier, when Julie grabbed my arm…Did you see that? She whispered..I’m sure that mannequin just winked at me….
We were laughing and totally entranced….As we appraoched each mannequin they came to life and spoke to us….so very clever and such a witty touch - a bit like the man himself.
Who was in on the Act to just welcome us. That accent…..sigh.
The whole exhibition felt very intimate – possibly helped by the tube strike – but everything was open and accessible. Human.
Inspiration for espadrille competition?
Around every corner was another legendary memory – from Madonna’s underwear as outerwear tour clothes to championing skirts for men. And you began to realise how many fashion ideas this man has creatively planted over his long, long career- digital printing on the Can-can Dress aka Mary Katrantzou (which has to be the most perfect wedding dress ever. White and demur for the service…outrageous for the first dance!)
Upside down Eiffel Towers’ for heels on shoes aka Charlotte Olympia (yes, the tights had Eiffel towers too..)- Punk, Eurotrash and the first example of a skort I’ve ever seen. And worn by a man…it went on and on..
This was ingenious..a tulle skirt with the waistband being the very top of a pair of white jeans.
Despite additions such a camo, bullets and desert boots..all the outfits for women were always very feminine.
And even with sequins, furs and skirts..the men’s outfits always remained masculine.
Throughout the mannequins were like celestial beings beamed down from planet Gaultier, each one with their own unique, witty outlook on life. There’s no-one here, right? I exist because I speak. I don’t want to be here, but I can be who I want to be, I am because I am, I am a dream - They were more than sentences on repeat. They were a persona. Just like the Exhibition itself….
Laters, Kate x