While the rarity and exclusivity of the works add cachet, what makes the exhibit special is how it presents the totality of Mugler's work as art, rather than fashion.
If there’s one thing Jean Paul Gaultier hates, it’s convention. That’s why the famously dubbed ‘l'enfant terrible’ is a great designer. For 35 years and 150 collections, Gaultier has delighted, shocked, and inspired the world with his imaginative and eccentric creations. Finally, this summer, the French designer is getting the recognition he deserves. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has honored Gaultier with his first international exhibit, opening today. Earlier this week I journeyed up to the Canadian city that Gaultier remembers as one of the first to embrace his work ("the French are always snobbish," he joked), for pre-opening festivities and a sneak peek at the exhibit. The thoughtfully curated, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” is not to be missed. "First I didn't want to make an exhibition because for me it was a funeral," said Gaultier at a press conference Tuesday. So in agreeing to do the exhibit, the designer had certain requests.
Just as Jean Paul Gaultier closed his spring haute couture collection with a mad can-can down the runway by Crazy Horse performer, "Psykko Tycco," showing a collection inspired by Brit punk and French can-can, comes word that the designer will be getting his first museum retrospective. It's about time. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk will launch at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) on June 17 and will live there through October 2. The retrospective marks the 35th anniversary of Gaultier's label--he showed his first ready to wear collection in 1976 and founded his own couture house in 1997. The exhibition will feature around 120 looks, drawn, for the most part, from Gaultier's couture collections though there will also be ensembles from ready to wear. Sketches, photographs, stage costumes, film excerpts from runway shows, concerts and dance performances, will all be included.