If you are curious about high fashion and haute courtier, if you have a sense of fun and adventure, if you admire the mind and talent of someone at the absolute top of their field then DO NOT miss the staggeringly fabulous Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to Catwalk exhibition on at the National Gallery of Victoria.
When: Daily until 8 February 2015, 10am – 5pm and Friday nights 5.30 – 9.30pm (except 26 Dec 2014 & 2 Jan 2015)
Where: NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road MELBOURNE
Cost: Family (2 adults, 3 children) $60, Adult $22, Child (5-15 years) $10, under 5 FREE. Click here to book tickets online.
This NGV exhibition doesn’t come with an accompanying kids publication or even a kids specific audio tour – but it is bright, full of movement and should have the kids minds whirring, I know mine certainly was! While some of the outfits might be a little risqué, I am pretty sure most kids would understand that these are costumes not meant for every day life (and most likely they will find them amusing).
This exhibition starts with a stark room in which the mannequins set up on a stage-like display with a blue wall behind. The wall and the lighting throws a eerie light across everyone who enters and your eyes are drawn to the spotlit mannequins. As your eyes adjust you realise that some of the mannequins are opening and closing their eyes and smiling at you… some even look like they have momentarily gone to sleep. In the centre is a mannequin Jean Paul and he’s talking – at first in French, but if you wait he also speaks in English.
The next gallery is carpeted and feels more like you have stepped into a store or boutique – it is also more typical in its display, with sketches and photography hanging on the wall. You turn the corner into the third gallery space and you are suddenly in a fashion show in what feels like an abandoned factory or warehouse that has been vandalised. Models literally parade down the catwalk and you’re invited to take the front row.
There are four more galleries to explore and they are all completely different again! I won’t give any more away.
Be prepared to need time to drink in all the detail. If you have a wriggly toddler who would rather be somewhere else then try and treat yourself to a gallery visit alone – I know that I need to go back for a second visit as there really was just so much detail to take in.
Having heard JPG speak at the media launch, and having seen him in action on more than one occasion, he comes across as someone who is genuinely engaged with everyone he meets and has a great sense of fun. He is a 62 year old with boundless energy and enthusiasm. You can see the love with which all his work is created – it is all at once exuberant, surprising, witty and dramatic; not unlike the man himself.
The National Gallery of Victoria is the only Australian venue and, indeed, the only venue in the region, to stage this extraordinary exhibition celebrating the creative talent of one of the world’s most influential fashion designers. This exhibition travels to Melbourne from London and its next stop is Paris – a pretty awesome city sandwich!
Do not miss The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to Catwalk in Melbourne at the NGV until 8 February 2015.
What else is happening in the NGV this Summer? Click here for our comprehensive listing of what is awesome for families.