➤ Gaultier celebration trumps all else in London this summer

Fashion , Jean Paul Gaultier, Sidewalk to the Catwalk London, Barbican Art Gallery, exhibition, Eurotrash, reviews,

Dazzling couture, animated mannequins: Gaultier’s life story in one theatrical show

◼︎ 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.

➢ The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, 9 April–25 August 2014 at the Barbican Art Gallery, London

➢ “Raucous and experimental both in form and content, I’m likely to call this the most blithely divine fashion show you’ll catch in the near future” – New Statesman

➢ “A rare and fascinating opportunity to get inside the creative mind of one of fashion’s most daring designers” – Creative Review

➢ “Few other designers can boast a career that has moved from presenting the camp late-night television show Eurotrash to designing haute couture” – Vogue

➢ “Gaultier’s intention was not to merely provoke the public but to be a voyeur” – Hunger Magazine

➢ The UBU/Compagnie de création in Québec which produced the exhibition

➢ Jolicoeur International of Quebec, manufacturer of high-end mannequins

➢ View video: Gaultier’s SS2013 runway tribute to British pop icons

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