Opening Night: Jean Paul Gaultier
Fashion is more popular than Art. When Alexander McQueen had a show at the Met a couple of years back, it ranked in the top five best attended shows there EVER. More than a million people viewed the spectacle.
Art is very different to fashion. Though some artists become so fashionable that they go out of fashion.
Fashion shows in Art Galleries get the turnstiles moving and the locals all fired up. And it’s cheaper than going overseas. You could almost hear Melbourne thinking hard on what you wear to meet Jean Paul Gaultier. Feathers were very present on those present, as were investigations into the slippage between fashion and fancy dress.
I had a Lecturer at University once. She was a self confessed Francophile. All things France she was gagging for. You can see the appeal. The accent, the punk philosophers, the National respect for dangerous subversives like Serge, Edith, Sartre and Simone. Dismissing societal norms that constrain creative thought.
Jean Paul Gaultier is a punk who likes nice clothes. Tartan, manskirts to playfully flash the media his fash junk. Visual jokes letting us know its OK to have fun with how we present ourselves in clothes. He does it and is so successful he could maybe buy and sell the whole NGV (excluding Blue Poles). I know this because I googled up ‘Jean Paul Gaultier net worth’.
Celebrity though, is his real tool. He plays with the media, handing out Warholian sound bites that keep giving, cone breasts and double-entendre silliness, resonating with people living normal lives. Eurotrash magic gold. People who want a piece of the irreverence go down to Myer on Bourke and buy in. Smell as Jean Paul wants you to smell. No poker face Jean Paul. He looks like a rapscallion because he is one. It’s written on his face. He is brave. And people love him because he can laugh at himself, at the fashion industry in which he has succeeded. Viva La Fashion.
The NGV is opening late on Friday’s with drinks and more DJ’s than you can shake a glow stick at.