Monday, 29 December 2014

Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. NGV Melbourne

On my recent trip to Melbourne I was very lucky and had time to make it to the National Gallery of Victoria for their absolute blockbuster Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition. I hadn't heard of the exhibition before I arrived in Melbourne, but I'm so thrilled that I was able to see it. It's so much more than a fashion exhibit.

It's totally amazing. Sensational even. A must see. The exhibition was created in 2011 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. More than 1.3 million people have seen it so far as it has travelled the world. They have added a selection of Australian Muses to the final room for this Australian event. Melbourne is the only Australian venue for this show. Yes, it's worth a special visit to Melbourne to see it. It's that good. 

Rather incredibly JPG tells us at the start of the exhibition that he was initially not keen about the exhibition because he thinks that an exhibition can look like a funeral. Let me tell you, Jean Paul Gaultier From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is not funereal in any way. It is not a static retrospective, it is more the best installation art you've ever seen. 

We had just seen a stage version of Grease
 a few nights earlier. And here
Grease is still inspiring fashion, decades later!
The Odyssey begins.
To walk in to every room was jaw dropping.

JPG talking to us via Canadian technology.
You can see why Billy Idol thinks JPG designs for him. 

The animatronic models were incredible.
Quite mesmerising. 

Every room is a different themed experience. The Boudoir.

Angel's Leap/Saut de l'Ange
Black Swan collection
autumn-winter 2004-5

Croissants always end up on your hips right?

My favourite room I think. Punk Cancan. The English were the first to appreciate JPG's work.

For those of us who will never go to a runway show
This is as close as we'll ever get. 

At first glance things can look so conservative.

But they're not really. 
Genius. I love it. I want some.

 I particularly loved these three Paris themed dresses.

Skin Deep. An extraordinary room exploring the notion that clothes don't have a gender (he excludes bras and medieval codpieces), and the notions of outer wear nudity. No, it's not for everyone. 

Amsterdam recreated.
 Metropolis. Showcasing JPG's work as a costume designer for film. He has worked on 9 movies. 

Urban Jungle. An astonishing room. I didn't get enough time in here. JPG takes inspiration from many peoples, codes and traditions.

And then reinvents it for Eurovision.
Parrot feather bolero and crepe jumpsuit
worn by Dana International
for the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest

There's so much here. 

Even shopping trolleys get the Gaultier treatment. 

Of course not everything is what it seems. 

A mere 1600 hours and about a bajillion
beads and you can create anything. 

The detail everywhere is astonishing.
This on a pair of pants. 
 It was interesting for me to ponder the notion that Haute Couture only exists in Paris, like any other appellation- it is defined by geography. Champagne. Bordeaux. Haute Couture. And everything must be done by hand. 

Muses. The final room explorers Jean Paul's muses- international and Australian. Kylie. Cate. Nicole. 
A frock worn by Cate Blanchett
in the Muses room.
I love the vaguely creepy chair. 

Naturally, there is a large Gaultier filled shop at the end of the exhibition. Much of it striped. 

I'm not sure how I resisted these. 

The cars moving in for the Friday night celebration.
Sadly, I couldn't stay...
These photos convey but the merest glimpse of the JPG experience. If you really can't make it to Melbourne before February, then check it out online. Or better still head to Paris between April 1 2015 and August 3 2015 to see it at the Grand Palais. Oh, if only I could. The exhibition will then go to Munich in September 2015. 

Open daily, 10am–5pm
Until Feb 8 2015
NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Friday Nights at Jean Paul Gaultier
5.30–9.30pm from 24 Oct 2014 – 6 Feb 2015
(excluding 26 Dec 2014 & 2 Jan 2015)

JPG isn't my Paris really, but I'm still dreaming. 
Dreaming of France is a wonderful Monday meme
from Paulita at An Accidental Blog 

Sunday, 28 December 2014


I went to see Paddington on Boxing Day. It was a perfect opportunity for a Christmas movie outing with Master Wicker and Ma Wicker. I was also very keen having just read and adored the book for the first time. And I had laughed myself rather silly at the trailer. Possibly more than was seemly, but we can't always control what we laugh at.

Paddington is a good movie interpretation of the book. They had to add a bit more movie type excitement, and so there are plots and villains that don't exist in the books. The film begins with a much more detailed exploration of Paddington's origins in "Darkest Peru" than Michael Bond provides us with in A Bear Called Paddington. But the film's heart is a sweet, warm movie, about the search for home and family, feeling lost in a new culture, and the love of marmalade,  that is enjoyable and funny for movie goers of all ages.

Just in case you missed it.

I did enjoy all the main characters, and always particularly enjoy Matt Lucas on screen. Do watch out for Mrs Brown's shoes. They're rather special. I haven't been able to google what they are, but maybe they are something like these- coincidentally called Louise by John Fluevog. The soundtrack oddly has a rather Cabribean vibe, but perhaps that is close enough to Peru for the movie world. 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Glimpses of a Paris Christmas Future

Sadly I've never spent a Christmas in Paris. It's definitely one of my must dos for future Paris visits. Even though John Baxter tried to dissuade me of the idea several years ago, I do still dream of a Paris Christmas. One of the many wondrous things about Paris is how very seasonal things are there. Which is good and bad of course. Visit Australia in November and you'd likely see many Christmas decorations. I was in Paris in October/November this year, a few short weeks before the Christmas preparations started in earnest. I did have some glimpses into what I would miss.

The gorgeous dome at Galeries Lafayette was without it's famous Christmas tree.

It's still gorgeous though. 
But there were early traces. I do always enjoy picking up some new Christmas decorations on my travels. 

A Nutcracker came home from the Palais Garnier.
But I did manage to resist the charms of
Madame de Pompadour
Gorgeous pink baubles filled the windows of the
 giftshop at the Palais Garnier
Touristy delights at Galeries Lafayette
Classy displays at Villeroy & Boch
BHV had a whole section devoted to decorations
You can be sure that a silver Tour Eiffel now
adorns my Australian tree

And it seems nothing says Paris Christmas
more than a Cockatoo
I was very tempted, only suitcase logistics saved me

Or Mermen Santas
We did stay in the Marais after all...

Naturally they have classier advent calendars in Paris.

Chocolats Mussy

One of these made it's way to Australia for Master Wicker
Completely impractical as a souvenir requiring transportation to Australia,
 but a sign of maternal determination.
Lovely white, milk, caramel and dark chocolate selection from
Frederic Cassell of Fontainbleu
which I visited last year with Parisbreakfasts
that day lives on in my memory
but sadly remains unblogged
Our visit to the magnificent Salon du Chocolat (a mere fraction of which was blogged here and here) also allowed more glimpses of the Christmas delights to come.

A glimpse of the buche de Noel to come from
Jean Paul Hevin
still one of my very favourite Parisian chocolatiers

Frederic Cassell's Napoleonic feves for your
gallete des rois

Christmas candles

Gorgeous Christmas baking pans
Somehow I was able to resist the 3kg tubs of Nutella, even though they were adorned with cute reindeer at BHV. I fell hard for BHV this trip, I will have to show you more of it later.

An impromptu visit to the Baccarat store in the 16th offered many delights. 

I can't wait for my real Paris Christmas one year. 

Saturday Snapshot is a wonderful weekly meme
 now hosted by 
Dreaming of France is a wonderful Monday meme
from Paulita at An Accidental Blog