I was invited along to the media preview of the Jean Paul Gaultier show: 'From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk' at the Barbican today. It's the first major exhibition entirely devoted to the celebrated French couturier. The opening of the show was preceded by a short interview and Q&A with the man himself which was a fascinating insight into his life and work. He's a brilliant, engaging and highly entertaining speaker who had everyone in the audience captivated.
The exhibition that followed was as interesting, theatrical and diverse as Jean Paul himself and the main thing that struck me was how far-reaching and vast his influence is. As you walk around, you can see how many of the designers that have found fame more recently clearly look to him for inspiration. I also love that he has forged a successful career spanning nearly 40 years in a highly competitive industry, having never studied fashion.
The variety of fabrics and garments on show is extensive, but I was particularly drawn to the knits for obvious reasons. There's absolutely nothing granny-like or stuffy about any of the knit and crochet pieces on show here!
The show opens to the general public tomorrow and I urge anyone who has an interest in textiles, fashion, art or culture in general to hot-foot it over there, as you won't regret it.