Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jean Paul Gaultier in Montreal

The word on everyone’s lips lately in the design world was the recent Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art says its recent exhibition of costumes by the late designer Alexander McQueen was among its top 10 most-visited shows, with 661,509 people traipsing past some of McQueen’s most beguiling creations. Alas I was not one of them.

However another opportunity to see a very similar exhibition this weekend in Montreal has presented itself. (Oh, did I not tell you we are headed off to Montreal this weekend as it is a long weekend?).

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is presenting The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, the first international exhibition devoted to the celebrated French couturier. Gaultier launched his first prêt-à-porter collection in 1976 and founded his own couture house in 1997.

This exhibition has kind of gone under the radar, eclipsed by McQueen. Dubbed fashion's enfant terrible by the press from the time of his first runway shows in the 1970s, Jean Paul Gaultier is indisputably one of the most important fashion designers of recent decades.

Very early, his avant-garde fashions reflected an understanding of a multicultural society's issues and preoccupations, shaking up – with invariable good humour – established societal and aesthetic codes.

Created between the early 1970s and 2010, these pieces have, for the most part, never before been exhibited. Many other exhibits are also being presented for the first time. Sketches, stage costumes, excerpts from films, runway shows, concerts, videos, dance performances and even television programmes illustrate Jean Paul Gaultier's fashion world.

So what exactly does fashion icon Jean-Paul Gaultier think he's learned most about himself after seeing 30-plus years' worth of his eye-popping creations together in a new show at Montreal's Museum of Fine Arts?

Looking as surprised as someone who's just seen their first cone bra, Gaultier has to think a minute about the question.

"To see all that work at the same time, it's emotional," he says, warming up to the topic. "It's emotion, what I have learned, that I am always sensitive to emotion.

Gaultier said he was pleased with the Montreal museum show, saying he was reluctant to have exhibits in the past "because for me, it's a funeral, an exhibition in a museum."

"I thought the shows were enough because I am alive," he added.

"I am very happy and proud of this exhibition. I feel at home," he said. "I could even sleep there."

Following its presentation in Montreal, the exhibition will embark on an international tour, with presentations at the Dallas Museum of Art (November 13, 2011 - February 12, 2012), the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young (March 24 - August 19, 2012), the Fundación Mapfre – Instituto de Cultura, Madrid (September 26 – November 18, 2012), and the Kunsthal Rotterdam, the Netherlands (February 9 – May 12, 2013).

Of course faithful Savoir Faires I will give a full report on my return. Have a wonderful weekend all.


  1. Oh! You are so lucky. I've been thinking about Gaultier lately, and how he has evolved. I absolutely loved the Aviator collection he did at Hermes several falls ago. I hope I get to see it in Dallas.

    p.s. On time, I literally bumped into him at Collette in token brush with greatness.

    Have a great weekend

  2. ! We were going to go to this, but tickets to Montreal were a little pricey. Instead we're opting for the San Francisco show sometime in the spring. Can't wait to see it!

  3. i shpritz myself with the man todos los dias.

  4. Why have I not known about this?? I want to see it now! Can't wait for the report!

    Love! ~Angel

  5. Hello David:
    We too should have loved to have seen the exhibition in New York but this, in Montreal, looks to be equally interesting and we are certain that you will enjoy it immensely. Have a very good weekend away.

  6. Ohh I love Jean Paul Gaultier..definetely an exhibition worth seeing times a million! I hope you have a wonderful time seeing it!

    The Black Label

  7. Jean Paul Gaultier is so so talented.
    Nice pictures.
    Have a lovely day.

  8. Lucky you David ... I love JPG style.
    I cant wait for the McQueen exhibition to hit London!

    Btw, didnt get a chance to comment on your Marchesa Casati post. I read the 'Portraits of a Muse' about a year ago ... and it was fabulous!
    Personally, I think she was much more inspirational than Gaga.

  9. Great post!

    following the blog!

    Un Saludo!

  10. we are waiting for your report. Have a safe trip.

  11. sounds like a great way to spend a long weekend! hope you have a fabulous time David.

  12. I am impressed by the detailing shown in the 4th and 5th photos, and I would love to see more detail shots. Have a great weekend visit!

  13. I love Jean Paul Gaultier! He makes really art!


    Adrien Loren

  14. Wouldn't it be so amazing to have gotten the chance to see McQueen's exhibition but seeing JPG's is an amazing adventure too!

    ♥ Cat brideblu

  15. I'm learning such a lot of things through your blog. Everything is so perfectly chosen and presented. But what makes the trick, yes, are emotions.
    What is that beautiful flag? I wished countries had dreaming flags like that.
    And thanks for your kind words in my anniversary editorial.

  16. Love Gaultier! I've been trying to follow as much museum fashion exhibits but had not heard of this. Thanks for reporting!

  17. lucky you! thanks for share it with us!


  18. Excellent stuff. I was actually considering a JPG silk suit (too flamboyant, even for me) and a print necktie (still considering) in a shop a few hours ago

    I have always found his work rather compelling - it's that beguiling mix of creativity, refinement and unmitigated brashness, I suppose



  19. Love JPG's style. have always been a fan. this exhibition seems super exciting. Unfortunately, I know I will miss it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  20. what an exhibition!
    it looks just so fantastic i am spechless!
    i really would like to visit this one!

    Syriously in Fashion
    Syriously Facebook Page

  21. Art and beauty, an incredible show, I believe, an icon of modern fashion. Regards

  22. Vive Jean Paul Gaultier ^^ ! I'm a BIG FAN!

  23. Great post!

  24. I was lucky enough to see the McQueen exhibit at the Met a few times in NYC. The Gaultier retrospective promises to be exciting as well. The detail of the garment will undoubtedly be incredible to see in person.


  25. It feels so great to be able to be back to visit you, my dear friend! And now, of course, I want to be in Montreal! I was bloown away by the exhibit of the designs of Alexander Mcqueen in New York. It tok me several days to recover because it was just that powerfull and deep and very very sad....I only wish to be that lucky to see exhibit of Gaultier designs. I comfort myself with the thought that another great exhibit is coming to New York: Anthology of Hats by Stephen Jones.:-)))Wishing you wonderful weekend!:-)

  26. Great post!

  27. Gee I wish we would get some of these blockbuster fashion exhibitions in Toronto. I've read that they are more popular than exhibitions of the fine arts, and bring a lot of revenue into the museums.

    Gaulthier always seems to be having fun and winking at us with his designs. I think it is wonderful that he was a trailblazer in choosing heavy, mature, and out of the ordinary models to challenge the accepted norms of beauty.


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