Saturday, 14 June 2014

From Gaultier to Mexico

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.


  1. Although the dresses are totally impractical, they are amazing to look at. The one made of ties is very clever isn't it! Glad that you had a good time. xx

  2. The Gaultier exhibition looks amazing - how it transports you back to the 80s! The skilful craft in them is astounding.
    btw my wedding hat was made for me by the milliner who made hats for Gaultier's first catwalk show #ClaimToFame

  3. Wonderful, they both look amazing exhibitions! How lucky you are to live near enough to be able to visit. I wish!
    V x

  4. I can see you in that long knitted number - or the denim one... easily !

  5. that looks well worth a visit Gina. some fascinating textile work there.

  6. Thankyou for sharing some of your wonderful photos Gina. I particularly like the beaded denim coat and the knitted dress, but all garments look exquisitely made. A stroll round Sainsbury's in the Madonna corset gets my vote! The exhibition of Mexican work is such a contrast but no less eyecatching. A feast of colour and pattern.

  7. Dear Gina,

    Ii am delighted you shared a few precious pictures of this stunning exhibition with us. I ap a huge fan of Gaultier. I've always been fascinated by the theatrics of fashion and the intricate skills involved in the construction and ornamentation of these clothes. Fabulous. Absolutely fabulous.

    It's funny how my mother, who is a passionate artist, has never understood the point of catwalk fashion designs. So impractical, she mutters, to which I respond, I know, isn't it wonderful?


  8. A great review of two lovely exhibitions - and a 'spiffing' day out! Xx

  9. The straw corset does it for me......... Sod practicality! :O)

  10. Gina, how I do wish that I could have seen these two exhibits with you! I am so happy to see your photographs and text, and also to read the prior comments.

    Gaultier is quite a creative force. Grand to see that the exhibit catches that...right down to the mannequins' faces.

    What textile skills in both shows. I know that your creative head must be finding ways to absorb what you've just seen, and thinking about how to take all that forward.

    Let's hope that sometime...hoping it's later on this year, we will be able to see such a show together.

    Meanwhile, thank you so much for this post. xo

  11. It all looks fabulous but I love the beading on that coat.

  12. Got the J P Gaultier exhibition on my list of things to see. But hadn't clocked the Made in mexico exhibition. Now looking forward to both. Thanks for the great blog post and for flagging up new things to see.

  13. Thanks for sharing - they look like fabulous exhibitions and I wish I could get to them. I can see me in the tie dress up my local Waitrose no probs! xCathy

  14. If you'd asked me before reading the post I'd have said I wasn't that bothered about JPG - a bit too far 'out there' for me but I have a reformed opinion as these show such skill in design and construction. Really enjoyed the virtual trip and would love to see you in that straw corset in Sainsburys! It would spice up the weekly shop!

  15. It sure looks good. It is great you take the time to go see the exhibitions! I wish I lived in England so I could see them as well.
    It is a rather limited amount of exhibitions we have here in Denmark, because we are such a small country.


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