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Jean Paul Gaultier at Grand Palais

I love my museum passes. Main perk? I can drop in to any exhibition I’d like to see at any time and not even have to worry about the queue. Downside? I get complacent and put off certain visits until near the end of the exhibition period. Which was exactly what happened with that of Jean Paul Gaultier – days before it closes!

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

Admittedly, I had not really planned to go and see it, and was thinking I’d give it a miss. Afterall, I know next to zero about fashion and trends, and with a bunch of things happening in the day-to-day, this exhibition was placed low on the priority list. However, my curiosity was piqued when friends who have seen it found it well-curated, along with a very cryptic hint that it is “special”.

Of course I had to find out what that “special” is, since they were clearly not referring solely to Gaultier’s creations. Besides, “special” could mean something extraordinary, strange, or a mix of the two. Moreover, since I’m unlikely to be invited to any fashion week anytime soon – actually, more like ever – this may be the closest to haute couture that I’ll ever get.

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

Have you figure out what’s special yet from the photos? Well, there weren’t any real life models standing around all day to be gawked by the thousands of visitors to the Grand Palais. Instead, surreal projection of faces can be found in the first rooms of the exhibition, looking at you, speaking to you, singing at times too. Jean Paul Gaultier was even found “giving a press conference”!

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

The exhibition moved through a few themes and gave a taster of the creations that Gaultier made his name on. From sirens and mermaids to marine stripes, from Madonna’s cone dresses to accentuated corsets, from Paris to Eurotrash. Many were deliberately provocative, no wonder he was dubbed the enfant terrible of French fashion. Then again, he does give a good dose of uniqueness in his works, which I must applaud.

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

JPG @ Grand Palais

The final sections of the exhibition were intriguing to say the least. So many texture incorporated into his pieces, and so many animals too. Not content with just leather and feather, there were fur and python and turtle back! Gaultier even tried the art of deception, where a gown from afar appeared to have been created from the hide of a leopard. It is very well done, intricate, and goodness knows how many man hour went into creating this frock…

Even for a fashion clueless like me, one can’t help but be in awe. Although I won’t be buying nor wearing any of his clothes anytime soon, I have to recognise the genius in his (apparent) madness when it comes to his creative works.



Category: Culture, Museum, Paris

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2 scribbles & notes

  1. med says:

    Woohoo…the famous JPG….its been sometime since i heard that name. Pretty awe inspiring work indeed, looking at the materials, details and thought that goes into these creation ;)

    • Lil says:

      Yeah! It gives me a small insight and appreciation into the world of fashion, although admittedly many things still left me baffled…

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