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Jean Paul Gaultier visits London College of Fashion

Jean Paul Gaultier visits the Fashion Space Gallery Jean Paul Gaultier visits the Fashion Space Gallery Jean Paul Gaultier visits the Fashion Space Gallery

Jean Paul Gaultier made a guest appearance at LCF last week, just before the opening of an exhibition of the iconic designer’s graphic works.

The designer had a look around the exhibition, reflecting on the designs he had created for invitations and ad campaigns over the past  thirty years.

Gaultier added his own flourish to the exhibition by signing the Fashion Space Gallery‘s wall with a message for LCF and its students. A fitting addition to an exhibition which showcases decades of the designer’s signature vision!

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London celebrates Jean Paul Gaultier

 jean paul gaultier

This spring, London welcomes the arrival of two exhibitions celebrating French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From Sidewalk to Catwalk at the Barbican is the first major exhibition of Gaultier’s work, while London College of Fashion’s Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest is dedicated to the avant–gardist’s campaign designs. Together, these two exhibitions provide a rich overview of a designer renowned for his passion, skill, mass appeal and humanism.

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The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to Catwalk started life at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and pays homage to the diversity at the heart of Gaultier’s work; the Museum’s curator Nathalie Bondil says of the show: “It’s not about fashion but social vision”.

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Structured thematically, the exhibition takes the visitor on a journey through the mind of this extraordinary icon; from the aquatic odyssey of Breton-stripe inspired pieces, to the monochrome aesthetics of his bondage collections and the intricate craft and feminine beauty of the boudoir. Areas of the exhibition dedicated to denim, tartan, corsetry and pink satins, illustrates Gaultier’s tendency to initiate and rejuvenate trends rather than follow them. The themes of his work are returned to again and again by emerging designers and students today – from lingerie as clothing to androgynous style and streetwear.

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In a Q & A at the Barbican, Gaultier said: ”It is more inspiring to look at people not in fashion, who are young and free. They have nothing to lose. Later, they have a code and it is boring’. This belief is made evident in the Muses room of the exhibition, which features costumes worn by the likes of Beth Ditto, Kylie Minogue and Dita von Teese.

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Gaultier was born in a suburb of Paris in the 60s and without any formal education established himself in the formidable couture industry of Paris, where he trained with the likes of Pierre Cardin. However, the designer cites London as a major source of inspiration, having an innate understanding and appreciation of British subcultures such as punk. Of the exhibition’s arrival in London and the huge body of work inspired by the city, Gaultier said: “I am showing it back to you like an homage”.

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In tribute to this retrospective, crammed full of exquisitely crafted and iconic garments, London College of Fashion’s Fashion Space Gallery presents Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest, featuring original invitation and campaign designs from the Gaultier Archive, spanning the designer’s forty year career.

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Curator of International Exhibitions at LCF Alison Moloney says of the exhibition: “We thought it was a nice idea to tell the story of his collections through the invitations, and show how his collections have developed over the years”. Gaultier has always taken great care and consideration in the creation of invites and campaigns, and been keen to formulate a rounded experience of the Gaultier brand and collection. It was also through his ad campaigns, in the 80s and 90s, that the designer could really share his opinions on aspects of popular culture and sub culture such as punk, skinheads, religion and art. Yet, the diversity of his work, both on and off the catwalk never compromises the essence and style of the Gaultier brand, which runs throughout the exhibition. “It is really inspirational for students to see how they can brand themselves” says Alison Moloney.

Details from two Jean Paul Gaultier campaign designs

Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest runs until 31 May at Fashion Space Gallery, London College of Fashion. Find out more

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See more shots from the show on Instagram

 

Ones to watch: Jason File

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Artist: Jason File

Hometown: Marquette, Michigan, USA

Qualifications: Chelsea College of Arts, BA Fine Art

Style:  A multimedia practice which reflect on the function of institutions and networks in society, and their relationships to individuals

Awards: Zabludowicz Collection Future Map Prize
Royal Academy of Art Thesis Prize
Ovalhouse Prize

Future Map winning work: Life Copy (2012) – a video installation accompanied by File’s commercially-published book, video footage of an internationally-televised news program appearance by the artist and television advertisements, and folding table.

Jason File

What he says: “By creating and exploiting overlaps between real life and art objects or performances, I interrogate the identity, authenticity, value and purpose of objects and events. I often use my own relationships with institutions to employ materials or contexts that are shielded from aesthetic critique—“non-art” environments—as a means of exploring institutional processes.”

What the press say: Described as one of the “reasons for theatre lovers to be crazy excited for 2014″ by Playreviews. The Guardian’s Skye Sherwin comments: “Jason’s work is bold and disarming. It raises all sorts of questions about identity and structures – including those of the artwork itself.”

What artists say: David Blandy comments: “Jason File’s work blends life and performance for subversive effect, with an intriguing examination of subjectivity and our place in the contemporary political arena.”

Read more

Two Central Saint Martins Finalists for the Catlin Art Prize 2014

Saint Anthony by Lara Morrell

Saint Anthony by Lara Morrell

Our MA Fine Art alumni Sarah Fortais and Lara Morrell are among the recent graduates selected for this year’s Catlin award and exhibition. Fortais was previously nominated for the 2013 Nova Award, presented annually by Lowe and Partners to students graduating from Central Saint Martins.

Now in its eighth year, the Catlin Art Prize is a curated exhibition featuring artists selected from The Catlin Guide 2014. The other finalists are Mr. & Mrs. Philip Cath, Virgile Ittah, Neil Raitt, Dennis J. Reinmüller and Jakob Rowlinson.

Held around 12 months on from their final-year shows, the prize gives artists the opportunity to demonstrate progress made during the crucial first year after art school.

‘Sense of conviction’

Justin Hammond, Art Catlin curator, commented: “I’m inspired by the sense of conviction shared by this year’s shortlist. While there’s talk of a diminishing pool of talent in our art schools, this particular group have new and interesting things to say. They’re free of commercial constraints and deserving of this platform.”

A panel of judges will award one artist with a prize of £5,000 at a private ceremony on 14 May 2014. This year’s panel will include Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger. The public will also have their say, with the winner of the Visitor Vote awarded £2,000.

The Catlin Art Prize exhibition runs 2-24 May at the Londonewcastle Project Space in London.

More information:
MA Fine Art
Catlin Art Prize exhbition
Interview with Lara Morrell

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The tweet chat round-up: Why does fashion matter to the individual?

This month, Head of LCF Professor Frances Corner OBE has launched a new book, Why Fashion Matters. To celebrate, LCF has been asking fashion thinkers everywhere to talk to us about why fashion matters to them.

The first of the three tweet chats happened yesterday, and things quickly took off with questions, opinions and passionate responses flying onto the hashtag: #whyfashionmatters. So, why does fashion matter to the individual?

Conversations centred on how we express our inner self through the exterior clothes we wear, and how we can subvert people’s expectations by choosing to create our own style:

Tweeters also considered how we tell our personal story through our clothes – not just by choosing to wear them, but also in how they are crafted and where they come from:

The conversation turned to a tricky question – is fashion about showing your allegiance to a group, or is it about standing out from the crowd? This threw up all kinds of ethical dilemmas:

Tweeters also discussed their style icons, fashion and ageing, and how fashion can celebrate diversity. A massive thank you to all the passionate and insightful tweeters who joined LCF and Frances Corner yesterday.

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