I love the outrageous, witty and totally bonkers designs of Jean Paul Gaultier so I was very much looking forward to a trip to the Barbican last week to see "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to Catwalk"
The exhibtion was staged with the same wit as you can find in his designs and from the moment we walked in Gill and I were entranced by the mannequins with the moving faces of real models projected onto their faces... including one of Gaultier himself introducing the exhibition. We both found ourselves grinning back at the somewhat unerving dummies!
I took so many photographs it was difficult to choose what to share and what to leave out because I absolutely loved it all. There was this wonderful denim collection with a full length coat covered with the most exquisite beading.
Each of the scales on this mermaid dress was individually crafted and embroidered.
There was a fabulous full length gown made entirely from ties joined with beautiful insertion stitches.
Lots of outrageous underwear, including the famous Madonna corset which was so beautifully constructed. The bodice is made from woven satin ribbons.
One of my favourite dresses was this knitted gown which had a full tulle under skirt.
A corset made from straw, woven and twisted like traditional corn dollies.
But perhaps my favourite dress was this gorgeous gown covered with lace, embroidery, jewels and religious iconography, part of Gaultier's "Homage to Frida Kahlo" collection
It really is an amazing exhibition. Gill asked what I would like to wear if I had a choice... but it was impossible to choose. If only I was young, thin, brave and rich enough... I think I would wear it all! can you see me going down to Sainsburys in a satin corset or a knitted ball gown?
We then made our way to the Fashion and Textile Museum to see "Made in Mexico: The Rebozo in Art Culture and Fashion"
The Rebozo is a type of woven shawl or scarf, seen as a symbol of national identity in Mexico.
You might think an exhibition about shawls would be a little dull... but this was far from dull! The Rebozo themselves were stunning examples of woven textiles but there was so much more on display.
There were wonderful colourful shrines, artwork and fashion inspired by the Rebozo...
as well as a marvellous display of work which was the result of a cultural exchange between Mexican students and students from Chelsea college of Art. Another stunning exhibition from this gem of a museum.
It was a tiring day out but so inspirational too. I can thoroughly recommend both exhibitions and think I may well go back for a second look to both.