THE OPENING NIGHT
"I think the way people dress today is a form of artistic expression. Saint Laurent, for example, has made great art. Art lies in the way the whole outfit is put together. Take Jean Paul Gaultier. What he does is really art." - Andy Warhol
All photos by Eva Fydrych/Fashion Studio
The opening night of "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: FROM THE SIDEWALK TO THE CATWALK" took place on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 in Montreal. The brilliant exhibition organized by The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) featured 120 pieces from the designer's collections, some of them being presented for the first time.
The evening started with a short speech by Jean Paul Gaultier who was enthusiastically welcomed by the crowd. The designer said that he views the show as a creation in its own right rather than a retrospective. "I am very happy and proud of this exhibition. I feel at home. I could even sleep there." - he said.
Gaultier was intrigued by the idea of expanding on what he's trying to express through the clothes, but he doesn't really consider fashion as an art discipline. He said in one of the interviews: "Fashion is not an art. It's an answer to what people desire, what they want, what they need. It's the response to the evolution of society and to its mentality. Art is different. We're selling clothes. Even with couture, which is not an industry, it's still dressing the body. It's still technical. You cannot be completely free creatively. We must have some element that is sellable. If not, you die."
Fortunately, there is still a lot of creativity not only in his designs, but also in the way the whole exhibition has been organized. One of the most striking features of the show is the use of animated mannequins. They have faces projected onto their heads and seem to be speaking and smiling to the visitors, reciting bits of poetry or singing. This unique and innovative idea was probably one of the most commented and talked about subjects of the evening.
The show is organized in six themes: The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier, The Boudoir, Skin Deep, Punk Cancan, Urban Jungle and Metropolis; each set up in a different room, with interesting visual effects, moving catwalk, sketches and movies. Using different means of communication and various ways of displaying the designs is one of the strengths of the exhibition. The organizers managed to recreate a magical world of Jean Paul Gaultier, showing all his inspirations, desires, and revealing a big part of his personality. What we get is a mesmerizing insight into the designer's reality - full of creativity and imagination - that goes far beyond clothes and fashion.
The exhibition, which was created to mark the 35th anniversary of Jean Paul Gaultier label, runs from June 17 to October 2, 2011 and then heads out on an international tour. Highly recommended!
***Special thanks to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for inviting Fashion Studio to the opening night of the exhibition.***
THE ODYSSEY OF JEAN PAUL GAULTIER
All photos by Eva Fydrych
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