superbe monsieur gaultier.. superbe.

When people have good energy I feel it. And generally I feel that people do like me.
And that makes me very happy. 
~ Jean Paul Gaultier

oh… we like you monsieur gaultier, we like you very very much.

“The National Gallery of Victoria is the only Australian venue for The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier:
From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, which features more than 140 superbly crafted garments in addition to photographs, sketches, stage costumes, excerpts from runway shows, film, television, concerts and dance performances.”

my gorgeous friend, sharon and i felt a very strong urge to visit the world of JPG. i caught the tram into the city and met sharon on collins street. we strolled to the gallery, it was the most perfect melbourne day.

we met them. jean paul gaultier and his friends. the mannequins, i mean.

i was completely awestruck and could have watched and listened to them for hours. take a peek and eavesdrop on them herevideo projections cast faces onto the mannequins, created by denis marleau and stephanie jasmin of UBU Compagnie de Creation during the retrospective’s first stop in Montreal in 2011.






Rone | Australian 1980 – | Australian muses of Jean Paul Gaultier 2014 | synthetic polymer paint

Rone is an internationally recognised Melbourne street artist whose distinctive murals can be found in major cities across the world. He was commissioned by the NGV to create this work for the exhibition, and chose to represent Jean Paul Gaultier’s Australian muses, Andreja Pejić [pictured here], others include Kylie Minogue, Cate Blanchett and Gemma Ward. This work was completed over seven days. Rone was assisted by Callum Preston and Jason Parker.


Tanel Bedrossiantz for Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Barbès” women’s ready-to-wear fall-winter collection of 1984-85.

You are a true designer when people recognise your work without even looking at the label. This is the case for Jean Paul Gaultier. ~ Pierre Cardin, 2011

Leather chest of drawers with integrated vanity 1992 | prototype | leather and metal | Collection of Jean Paul Gaultier, Paris

Stack of suitcases 1992 | prototype | leather, metal | Collection of Jean Paul Gaultier, Paris

This chest of drawers with integrated vanity is part of a collection of mobile furniture designed in 1992 by Gaultier in collaboration with VIA; a Paris organisation dedicated to promoting innovation in furniture. Inspired by his love of travel, Gaultier’s collection comprised a tête-à-tête sofa; the Ben- Hur armchair; this leather Stack of suitcases dresser; trunk-style dressing tables; a chest of drawers with integrated vanity; armchairs made of wood recycled from 1950s Paris metro cars, with legs from 1970s office chairs; and a mirror on a red-lacquered stand resembling a mover’s dolly.

Nana | Collection of Jean Paul Gaultier, Paris

‘From an early age, I experimented with various aspects of design. I made my first cone-shaped breasts out of newsprint for my teddy bear Nana. I took a round doily from my grandmother’s house and cut out a circle in the middle of it to make a skirt for my bear. I did a bias cut that way without knowing what it was.’ ~ Jean Paul Gaultier, 2011

~ NGV Exhibition Wall texts



Although he was born in the suburbs of Paris, Gaultier’s heart beats to the rhythms of both rough-and-ready Paris and punk London. He is fascinated by Paris of the Belle Époque and the inter-war years, the Paris of artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the Moulin Rouge, the colourful throngs crowding the streets of the Barbès area and, of course, by the Eiffel Tower. He also loves the postcard Paris of Parisians in Brassaï’s photographs, denizens of the city’s bistros and cabarets. These visions of Paris combine in Gaultier’s idea of the multifaceted ‘Parisienne’. In the early 1970s Gaultier had his fi rst look at the styles adopted by the punks of Trafalgar Square, London, whose alternative artistry would stimulate new aesthetic codes. Punk’s anti-materialist principles influenced Gaultier, enabling him to explore a non-conformist fashion. He found inspiration and new materials in the energy of London’s streets, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s SEX boutique and the glam rock movement, with David Bowie and his alter ego Ziggy Stardust at its head. A couturier with a punk soul, Gaultier adopted concepts of recycling and the offbeat, and the total rebellion, trash, ‘destroy’ look. ~ NGV Exhibition Wall texts





‘Except for the medieval codpiece and the bra, garments have never had a gender.’ ~ Jean Paul Gaultier, 2011

For Gaultier, skin and the body are inexhaustible sources of inspiration, and in his hands materials become ‘second skins’. Using prints of fl ayed or tattooed bodies, he explores

the possibilities of trompe l’oeil, and his fascination with skin guides his romantic and fetishist designs. In the early 1980s Gaultier began introducing a wide range of looks that encompassed the hypersexualised and the transgendered. As a child who suffered for his sexuality, Gaultier now offered one and all the freedom to choose their own identity: butch, boy toy and everything in between. In the summer of 1985 Gaultier wrote a new page in the history of fashion with his A Wardrobe for Two collection. He proposed a post-macho look with the skirt for men, lending credibility to an item of clothing that in ancient times and various cultures had been entirely acceptable. Gaultier also created a ‘men’s couture’ collection enriched by delicate materials expressing men’s sensitivity. In stark contrast, in 2006 Gaultier turned Madonna into an equestrian dominatrix surrounded by harness-bound ‘slave’ dancers for her 2006 Confessions Tour. His work is marked by allusions to bondage and the X-rated, incorporating latex, leather, fishnets and other sadomasochistic paraphernalia. ~ NGV Exhibition Wall texts




‘The costumes Jean Paul Gaultier designs are wonderfully beautiful and absolutely conceptual at the same time. Almost no-one else is able to combine both in the same garment.’ ~ Pedro Almodóvar, 2011

As a child of the television era, Gaultier absorbed culture through the lens of the small screen. Fashion interested him only in so far as he could turn it into spectacle. He saw runway shows as happenings with their own original soundtracks, decors and unusual casting choices. Gaultier’s futuristic fashion vision is also reflected in his memorable collaborations with stars of the pop and rock world and with French choreographer Régine Chopinot. Between 1983 and 1993 Gaultier designed costumes for sixteen of Chopinot’s ballets, the structures and materials of his designs suggesting and even imposing certain rhythms and gestures on dancers. The costumes Gaultier has designed for films – for Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet [The City of Lost Children, 1995], Peter Greenaway [The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, 1989], Luc Besson [The Fifth Element, 1997] and, especially, for Pedro Almodóvar [Kika, 1993, Bad Education, 2004, The Skin I Live In, 2011] – sustain the dramatic intensity of the fi lms while remaining true to his own creative vocabulary. ~ NGV Exhibition Wall texts



sharon and friends






‘Non-conformist designer seeks unusual models – the conventionally beautiful need not apply.’
Advertisement placed by Jean Paul Gaultier in the French daily newspaper Libération, 1986

Since his early days as a designer, Gaultier has been inspired by unusual models and has not followed industry trends in typical model looks. He has held open casting calls for his catwalk models, being drawn to those who are not conventionally beautiful. Many of his early muses have remained important infl uences, including Farida Khelfa, who became the fi rst top model with a North African background after starting her career with Gaultier in 1979.

Gaultier was the first designer to work with androgynous models Teri Toye and Andrej Pejic, with the latter appearing as both male and female on the catwalk. Andrej has since undergone sexual reassignment surgery and is now legally named Andreja. Gaultier has cast Beth Ditto, lead singer of the American band Gossip, on his catwalk and has been particularly drawn to Australian models, actresses and performers, including Alexandra Agoston, Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Kylie Minogue, Catherine McNeil and Gemma Ward.

Gaultier’s universal values go beyond the fashion world’s established etiquette. The strong social message found in his designs, catwalk shows and advertising campaigns champions fashion as a form of expression and inclusivity, and as a celebration of diversity. ~ NGV Exhibition Wall texts


Immaculata | Virgins (or Madonnas) collection | haute couture, spring–summer 2007 | Collection of Maison Jean Paul Gaultier, Paris | Kylie Minogue wore this crocheted dress with cherub linen appliqués and crocheted lace headdress and mask in the X Tour 2008 video backdrop.

I don’t know exactly what is my impact, but I can say I am doing fashion my own way. ~ Jean Paul Gaultier

one of the best exhibitions i’ve ever seen. what a man, what a vision. with the help of NGV curator of Fashion and Textiles, Paola di Trocchio, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is truly spectacular. 

i hope this was enough of a tease for you to go visit jean paul gaultier’s mesmerising and magical world of fashion… and if you’re not in melbourne, i hope you enjoyed this quick tour in stills. mx

after our minds were blown, we went for a walk and found ourselves here.



we stopped here at cecconi’s, we ate arrancini’s and had a glass of red. we chatted, then nibbled on petit fours. one gulp and sharon’s expresso was gone while i sipped at my soy latté. a sigh worthy day.. an escape from the real world. it was after i got home i realised i really needed it… needed to escape. thank you for a beautiful day sharon. xx

  • m2matiz November 4, 2014 at 12:36 am

    lots of love… mx

  • thomas November 4, 2014 at 1:26 am

    fantastic day and story m , and i loved the clothing in ” the fifth element ‘ ! :)

    • m2matiz November 5, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      merci beaucoup t! and yes.. me too!