◼︎ YOU’LL NEVER HAVE SEEN an avant-garde fashion show like it, let alone couture up close and jangling its Swarovski crystals in your face. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, From Sidewalk to the Catwalk, celebrates four decades of the crazee French designer who gave the world the cone bra and the man skirt. Andy Warhol said of him: “What he does is really art.” Touring the world’s leading galleries from Canada, this theatrical multi-media exhibition is unlike anything you have seen before and it is sensationally displayed all summer in London’s Barbican Art Gallery. It is sexy, funny, sumptuous and packed with philosophical surprises about clothes as an extension of yourself.
Gaultier also pays generous homage to British popular culture which he has thrived on since the 70s, whether the excesses of punk or the thrifty displays of status by the pearly kings and queens of Cockney London. He is always to be found hanging out on the London scene. Why? Because, he says: “The English were the first to appreciate my fashion! If there’s one place other than Paris that I should have lived, it should be in London.” The Barbican even devotes a video room to his stint presenting Channel 4’s Eurotrash TV magazine for its first seven series.