Fashion Review: ‘The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk’

Oliver James 15 April 2014

After heated anticipation, the internationally acclaimed Gaultier exhibition has finally shored at the Barbican in London. Delving into the mind of one of history’s most acclaimed designers, Gaultier’s love of experimentation provides a more than just breath of fresh air to the London fashion scene.

Gaultier has never shied away from pushing the boundaries, and the exhibition is yet another feather in his designer cap. Presenting an eclectic collation of his finest work, the exhibition brings mannequins, and the Enfant Terrible himself, to life through video projection. While broaching themes such as sexual liberation, diversity and guilty pleasures, patrons are taken on a whirlwind tour of high fashion’s most daring and thought-provoking collections. Gaultier’s love of beauty in all its forms and styles, from Beth Ditto to Kate Moss, provide a refreshing angle to the world of high fashion.

Arguably Gaultier’s most iconic designs, the sailor-look from Le Male and the cone bra corset worn by Madonna during her infamous Blond Ambition tour, feature prominently within the exhibition and highlight his international commercial success. While showcasing some of his more artistic and evocative designs, Gaultier constructs the exhibition to highlight the depth of thought and delicate messages behind his lesser recognisable pieces.

Pop fans won’t be left disappointed, with the Muses Section hosting artistic designs inspired by Amy Winehouse, Kylie and Madonna. Bringing the sensory experience full circle, Gaultier proves why at 61 he is still fashion’s Enfant Terrible.

Rating: 4 ½ stars

‘The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk’ will be at the Barbican Art Gallery in London until the 25th Aug 2014.