The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is launched a unique exhibition of the life’s work of ‘l’enfant terrible’ of the fashion world, Jean Paul Gaultier. The elaborate exhibition is called The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. It is the first international exhibition for the Parisian couturier. The exhibition has been divided into six distinct thematic galleries. Gaultier has created 150 collections in 35 years of his designing career and the exhibition showcases 140 carefully-curated pieces, photos, and sketches from his entire career.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s work defines the spirit of true avant-garde. His creations with elaborate headpieces and over the top cancans remind you of virgins, sailors and mermaids. The first gallery is The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier. It has on display the designer’s signature style including an eclectic mix of nautical stripes and religious stereotypes. State – of the art holograms projected onto delicately casted-mannequins create the impression that Gaultier himself along with his favorite past models are present there. Thierry-Maxime Loriot, former male model and curator for this exhibition, pointed out an exhibit, which was the first dress made by Jean Paul, way back in 1971.
The predominance of sailor stripes in Gaultier’s work is the result of a childhood fascination with Popeye. Stereotypes and sexuality have a prominent role to play in the designer’s work through his career. Gaultier remembers drawing a sketch of a girl in fish nets and ostrich feathers when he was in school. It infuriated his teacher who punished and humiliated him. It was incidents like this that made a little boy who felt rejected by his peers into one of the most successful and recognizable faces in the world of fashion. The exhibition will run till October 2, 2011 and then travel to cities in the US and Europe.