On Tuesday 8th April, French haute couturier Jean Paul Gaultier came to the Barbican in London to introduce his exhibition and season of films.
The exhibition is currently on a world tour; London is the eighth destination. So far there has been one million visitors.
Seven things we learned from Jean Paul Gaultier:
- J.P.G. wasn’t popular at school at first with the other boys, because was not good at football. But one day he sketched a woman in fishnets and ostrich feathers. The teacher caught him and, out of anger and intending to humiliate, pinned it to his back and made him tour the classes. The opposite effect occurred, he became popular – everyone wanted him to draw for them. And Gaultier realised sketching could make people love him, and open doors.
- He is one one-eighth English. His parents and grandmother were liberal and loving.
- London is a vitamin, an inspiration to him. The first time he came to England was when at school. The next time was at the beginning of the 70s, he visited the Biba store. Also, while here, he loved: David Bowie, the TOMMY film, and THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW play.
- Says beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and countries and ages.
- Fashion on the street has been main inspiration.
- Is 61 years old, and has had a career in fashion for nearly 40 years.
- J.P.G. says he is shy, that’s why he speaks a lot. Advises, if you are shy to speak a lot – but don’t lie.
Of course the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition included Madonna’s headline-grabbing conical corset; as well, there were the most advanced mannequins I’ve ever seen - they have digital faces that changed expression!
A nice bit of synergy at the J.P.G. exhibition, Paul bakery special edition Jean Paul Gaultier eclairs.