Saturday, 3 August 2013

Jean Paul Gaultier in Stockholm

Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit
Architecture Museum
Skeppsholmen, Stockholm
through to September 3 2013

Jean Paul Gaultier is one of my heros.  I remember Gaultier making headlines when I was a kid in the early eighties.  By that time he was showing at Paris Fashion Week and while some critics loved him, many found him to be too avant-garde, anticipating his eventual demise and departure from fashion and earning him the title Enfant Terrible.  Gaultier not only stayed but became an international sensation and in the early 2000's began working for one of the oldest French fashion houses, Hermès.  Gaultier also has a line of furniture for the posh French company Roche Bobois. 

And there's his likability too.  Everything I've ever seen or heard of Gaultier is that, despite his rise to the top to be one of the most influential and respected designers of all time, he never became arrogant or self-satisfied.  As though the young rule-breaker is still there making clothes with a focused passion.

The exhibit chronicles Gaultier's ascent in the fashion world, his accomplishments and his influences.

But to be honest, I was too distracted by the clothes!  The creativity and attention to material and detail are exquisite.

Here are some of my favorites:

Ball Gown

This beautiful gown reveals another more playful side within the lining.  When the elegant lady lifts her skirt, she becomes a common Cancan dancer.


Pant Suit with Feathers


Pantsuit with parrot inspired feathers over chest and arms, fashioned as a bolero.

Native Bridal Gown

There is an interesting juxtaposition of the Native and Western cultures in this gown.  At first glance, this gown looks to have a heavy Native influence but on further inspection the Western influences are many.  First, the colour.  White for brides is a traditional Western architype.  The details on the skirt, especially those dropping from either hip, are reminiscent of a French or British soldier's uniform.  The head dress is wonderful.  This dress is a reflection on the clash, or marriage of (depends how you choose to perceive it) cultures during colonization.

Asian Outfit

I'm a sucker for the delicate elegance of Asian floral applications.  I can't really pinpoint where in Asia this is meant to be inspired from.  Perhaps the hat, sweater and vest suggest Tibet or Mongolia and the boots could be China or Japan.  I love this and those boots!

Buckle Street Boots

Speaking of boots...I love these.  I won't comment on the military influence, let's just focus on the boots.  These boots make me happy.

Plaid Mohair Overcoat and Trousers with Top Hat and Army Boots

Quintessential Gaultier.  Period.

There is so much more to see and if you are a fan of Gaultier and fashion design I highly recommend you see the exhibit if you can.

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