The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Part 2: Odyssey


This is the second part of the article The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier about the exhibition of the French designer in Barbican Centre in London The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk (April – 25 August 2014).

So what is the fashion world of Jean Paul Gaultier? You can define it by 3 words: fantasy, creativity, avant-garde. It is also the world without boundaries, taboos or stereotypes, where many cultures and styles mix together, where everything is possible (what was just unthinkable before Gaultier, meaning men wearing skirts, corset worn as outerwear etc.).

Today we will visit the Odyssey room with Gautier’s trademark themes such as sailors with Breton stripes, mermaids, and religious iconography. Also Gaultier’s very first design from 1971, never before exhibited, is on the display together with some designs from L’Homme Objet collection from 1983, “Et Dieu Créa L’Hommefrom 1984, Spring 2002 Couture and many many others.

Here is what Gaultier says about the exhibition himself:

I am super excited that the show is coming to London for two reasons. The first reason is that I always want to go to London, because London, for me, is a special place. In England I’ve got so many memories and I’ve had so many experiences and the English were the first ones to come to my shows and appreciate my fashion. If there is one place other than Paris that I should like to live in, it is London. I’ve got so many connections with London and feel at home there, even sometimes more than Paris. 

Jean Paul Gaultier

The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier

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Before the exhibition the visitors could admire the furniture designed by Jean Paul Gaultier in collaboration with Roche Bobois.

Przed wystawą można było zrelaksować się na sofach zaprojektowanych przes Jean Paul Gaultier’a we współpracy z marką Roche Bobois.


The Odyssey room was full of sailors, marmaids nad sea inspired motifs… (above: Alix Malka, Untitled: chromogenic print, ‘Marmaids’ collection).

Sala Odyssey była przepełniona morskim klimatem. Zaprezentowane w niej kreacje inspirowane są żeglarskimi motywami, syrenami oraz chrześcijaństwem. (u góry: Alix Malka, Untitled: druk chromogeniczny, kolekcja “Marmaids’).

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Gaultier’s designs from 2000 and 2002 haute couture collections//Projekty Gaultier’a z kolekcji haute couture na lata 2000 i 2002.

The origin of the stripes is a combination of many things, but first and foremost, a childhood memory. My mother dressed me in sailor-striped sweaters. They go with everything, never go out of style, and probably never will. There were also other influences: my grandmother, Coco Chanel, Jean Genet, Popeye, Tom of Finland, Rainer Fassbinder and his film Querelle, the title character of which was the ultimate sailor, a hyper-sexualized gay symbol, a fantasy, an icon, a form of virility that could be ambiguous. With their tattoos, sailors are also associated with the bad-boy image. The uniforms are so gorgeous and can be very elegant. I particularly like sailor pants, which I’ve adapted in many of my men’s and women’s collections.  Jean Paul Gaultier (source:

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Palm Leaf Jacket hat  from Buttons collection, Haute coutureSpring/Summer 2003//

Kurtka-kapelusz z liści palmowych pochodząca z kolekcji “Buttons”, haute couture wiosna/lato 2003

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(above) A sequined jumper that Beyonce had on her performing Marvin Gaye‘s “Aint Nothing Like the Real Thing” with Justin Timberlake at last nights Fashion Rocks Event in New York.//

(u góry): cekinowy kombinezon, który miała na sobie Beyonce podczas wykonywania piosenki Martina Gaye’a “Aint Nothing Like the Real Thing” na Fashion Rocks Event

Virgins or ‘Madonnas’ collection includes the very first design by Gaultier from 1971 (never before exhibited)//

Virgins lub po prostu Madonny to kolekcja sukni inspirowanych chrześcijaństwem. Pojawiła się w niej również pierwsza suknia zaprojektowana przez Gaultier’a z 1971 roku.


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(above, third from the left: Gaultier’s first design – 1971)//u góry, trzecia suknia z lewej – pierwszy projekt Gaultier’a z 1971 roku




To be continued…

This entry was published on August 11, 2014 at 10:00 pm. It’s filed under Art & Design, Events, Fashion, Lifestyle, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, Part 2: Odyssey

  1. Pingback: The Fashion world of Jean Paul Gaultier, Part 3: Punk cancan | chicmind

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