The Rotterdam Kunsthal currently has an exhibition about of the most extravagant fashion designers on earth: Jean Paul Gaultier. It’s really worth a visit!
Jean Paul Gaultier is one of the world’s most famous and extravagant fashion designers. He mixes subcultures and haute couture and with that he creates his own fashion style. And that’s a big hit! When he created his first collection in the seventies, the international fashion press labeled him the enfant terrible of fashion. He keeps reinventing himself, being completely unconventional, and he is very skilled as a designer, which shows in his designs. They are being worn by some of the biggest stars in Hollywood and in the world of pop music, like Madonna and Kylie Minogue.
The Kunsthal, together with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Maison Jean Paul Gaultier, organizes an exhibition of his clothing, accessories and other artifacts. Jean Paul Gaultier himself opened the exhibition, and the whole city of Rotterdam was dressed to the occasion. Landmarks such as the Euromast, Kabouter Buttplug, City Hall and other buildings were decorated in corsets in white and blue stripes, one of Gaultiers trademarks.
But what is the exhibition like? It’s phenomenal! The Kunsthal is divided in a couple of areas, each with their own theme. The themes match collections Gaultier has designed throughout the years. A large amount of the mannequins have projected faces, and it’s kind of weird. They look at you, talk to you and some of them whistle at you when you walk by. A whole new way of taking a trip to the museum, if you ask me. And yes, there’s also a talking Gaultier mannequin, telling the story of his success.
And what else is there to see? Besides all the clothing, including outfits worn by celebrities, there are also pieces of furniture, accessories and other artifacts on display. One of them is the teddybear Gaultier played with as a child. He designed his first pointy bra for this teddybear. There are also pieces of furniture and other things he designed for films and ballets, and of course there are lots of pictures. Those pictures are not just commercial photos, taken by famous photographers such as Anton Corbijn, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, and Karl Lagerfeld. Also on display are some polaroids of a young Gaultier, made by Andy Warhol. There is a pop up shop where you can buy a t-shirt, bag or the catalogue of the exhibition as well.
The exhibition, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier” still shows until May 12, 2013 at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. You can read more about it on the Kunsthal Website.