Ouch, my yummy chums, I’ve failed you! I’m sorry to have to postpone the VW Challenge by a couple of weeks as I’ve not been able to give it the attention I’d intended to. Our builder recently announced he’s ready to work on our son’s bedroom – which has for years served as storage for everyone’s stuff – so my sewing machine has been locked away and I’ve been making myself busy as an excavator of rubbish and stripper of wallpaper! I’m not finished yet either… 🙁
Midweek however, I managed to shower off the dust and escape to the City for an exhibition I’d booked a while back: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk (at the Barbican until 25 August, then on tour). Now, museums and galleries rarely permit photography but this time I was virtually invited by the gallery staff to take pictures as long as I didn’t use a flash. Whose call this was – the organizers’ or JPG’s or some third party’s – I don’t know, but the decision suggests strong confidence in the content of the exhibition without fear that the publishing of numerous, amateurish phone cam pics like mine might put off prospective visitors.
So here they are…
This is Grace Jones’ dinner jacket. Do you like how the collar is formed from what looks like facing which also connects to the back sleeve? I love that contrast of the two textures of black fabrics.
What appeared to be a dress incorporating a real leopard skin 🙁 turned out at close inspection to be thousands of beads 😯
A white version of this siren-like number was worn by Marion Cotillard.
Another mermaid dress shimmering like the insides of oyster shells.
A couple of favourites: a Can Can jacket and… yeah, I know you’d need a top with that one!
Finally, a surprise trip down memory lane with memorabilia from Eurotrash, a show which made Jean Paul Gaultier (one of the presenters) a household name. 20 years ago, Eurotrash pioneered bad-taste TV – something we’ve had enough of already – but I loved it for the playful attitude of JPG and the fantastic chemistry between him and co-presenter Antoine de Caunes. I used to laugh like a hyena as they took the mick out of each other, and everyone else, but mostly the British in their exaggerated French accents.
And yet, nothing could be more British than some of the designs here. The celebration of subversive as opposed to traditional beauty. The punk dandy; the Pearly Queen Suit (in brown) and DMs all done with that essential British ingredient which is humour. Jean Paul Gaultier, we know you like us!