From June 17 to October 2, 2011, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) will present The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, the first international exhibition devoted to the celebrated French couturier. Gaultier launched his first prêt‐à‐porter
collection in 1976 and founded his own couture house in 1997. Dubbed fashion’s enfant terrible by the press from the time of his first runway
shows in the 1970s, Jean Paul Gaultier is indisputably one of the most important fashion designers of recent decades. Very early, his avant‐garde fashions reflected an understanding of a multicultural society’s issues and preoccupations, shaking up – with invariable good humour –
established societal and aesthetic codes. More of a contemporary installation than a fashion retrospective, this major exhibition, which features 140 ensembles and numerous documents, is particularly innovative in the theatrical mise en scène and multimedia approach provided by UBU/Compagnie de création’s animated mannequins. “I think the way people dress today is a form of artistic expression. Saint Laurent, for instance, has made great art. Art lies in the way the whole outfit is put together. Take Jean Paul Gaultier. What he does is really art,” said Andy Warhol (Mondo Uomo, 1984).