Jean Paul Gaultier

From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

18 September 201514 February 2016

Last Chance

12.2. And 13.2. 10Am–10pm
14.2. 10AM–8pm

More than any other designer, Jean Paul Gaultier’s bold and ironic creations have repeatedly challenged our concept of fashion and beauty. With this comprehensive show, the Kunsthalle Munich pays homage to his diverse and fascinating oeuvre. After more than 420.000 visitors experienced this exhibition in Paris, the Kunsthalle offers the final chance to be mesmerized by Gaultier’s magnificent world of fashion.


Critical, but tongue-in-cheek

Throughout his career, Gaultier (born in 1952) has made it his mission to challenge conventional views on the social roles of fashion, while audaciously extending the fundamental manufacturing principles of fashion design. He uses a wide range of materials like feathers, crystals, animal skins, metal cans or rubber. In his Paris couture atelier, these are finished with superb workmanship – often in unconventional combinations – for his avant-garde creations. Besides his hometown, he finds inspiration in a variety of sources: from the world of pop and mass media or the trends of subcultures like London’s punk scene to different cultures from around the world; prototypical figures like the geisha, the Native American or the torero inhabit his universe, yet always with surprising twists. Gaultier claims as his social ideal the right to be different and live according to one’s own individual identity. He rose to fame with his kilt-like skirts for men, challenging conventional gender stereotypes and engrained fashion codes. Without a shadow of a doubt, the designer has achieved cult status – both in haute couture and in popular culture.

Haute couture, film, and pop

The exhibition presents some 140 of his creations, dating from the early 1970s up to now. In addition to his haute couture and prêt-à-porter designs, the show includes costumes for theater, dance, and cinema. Gaultier repeatedly worked together with film directors like Pedro Almodóvar, Luc Besson or Peter Greenaway and created stage outfits for popstars, like the famous bustier worn by Madonna in 1990 that caused a stir on her Blonde Ambition tour. Apart from the Queen of Pop, many other stars like Kylie Minogue have lent their Gaultier creations to be included in the exhibition.

Gaultier’s close cooperation with artists like Pierre et Gilles, Peter Lindbergh, Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol is presented in a wide range of artistic and documentary film material, videos and photographs. The show is not a mere fashion retrospective but a poetic contemporary installation: with the strong social message we find in Gaultier’s work, the exhibition embraces various arts and reflects his spirit in an opulent extravaganza.

Exclusively for the Munich venue, Peter Lindbergh shot the lead image, featuring Jean Paul Gaultier and Nadja Auermann.

Exhibition leaflet

Official expo hashtag: #JPGMUC

With “Jean Paul Gaultier”, the Kunsthalle celebrates its first fashion presentation, its 30th anniversary and its 100th exhibition.

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