I'm one of those people that loves schedules. I love plans, I love being busy - doing nothing feels like wasted time to me and so I'm definitely at my happiest trying to balance all sorts of things at once. Even on holiday I rush about from place to place as I'm terrified I might miss something, although I'm not sure exactly what there is to miss (we go to France every year and the place we stay at is literally in the middle of a field...the only thing to see is clouds and the occasional chicken from a nearby farm).
Anyway, Monday was a typical busy day for me. I've been wanting to see the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the Barbican for such a long time, but for some reason have just never managed to get myself over to see it. It finishes while I'm away and so I took the opportunity to go on Monday morning. It was definitely worth the trip - I couldn't believe the scale of work on show, and to be around so many famous pieces worn by so many famous people was amazing. I also just really liked him...he liked to show all types of models and avoided the typically pretty, and worked to try and equalise the genders in fashion by sexualising menswear as well as women's. I loved that idea, as why can't there be 'sexy' clothes for men too? And why is it only women we see plastered on the front of grubby magazines in fake leather and bondage straps? I thought it was clever and worked well, and was an interesting take on feminism and liberation for men.
I wore a new shirt from Pop Boutique with a skirt from Beyond Retro that I bought last summer. I bought the shirt on a whim because I can't leave a dagger collar behind and loved the colours, and was so happy to find it matched a few cute skirts I have that I haven't been able to wear that much. The socks are American Apparel, the bag is Rokit and the shoes are from Topshop.
I love exhibitions, but I think I love them even more now as they all remind me of the David Bowie exhibition at the V&A that I went to last year. It was possibly the best night of my life (I do enjoy a bit of Bowie) and ended in a very emotional Rock 'n' Roll Suicide sing-a-long with some complete strangers. This felt similar in the fact that there was so much to see, and it was a real celebration of such a talented individual. I wasn't aware just how ground-breaking and revolutionary some of Gaultier's work has been, but to see it all up close was amazing. Then again, that comes from a desperate ex-textile student who gets excited over french seams (they are just such a good idea).
Each collection was so different and yet distinctively his; there is a sort of rough rawness to his pieces, a detailed edge or double layer that really makes each design stand out as something exceptional. A white mesh top, on closer inspection, was entirely made from beads, while a corset was hinged and made from plastic, tulle and netting formed realistic flowers and a fan was converted into a top for men. It was like looking into someone's sketchbook, and being able to walk around all of their ideas and experiments.
I particularly liked the way he stuck to a theme; his punk collection was punk with tartan, leather and studs, while his denim collection was almost entirely denim (I have never seen so many inventive ways of styling double denim in my life). Even the lingerie didn't seem that degrading, as it felt more like expression or art, a way of playing with our ideas of feminine beauty and attraction and what that really is.
The techniques he used were incredible and so varied - often designers have set embellishments or details they know and stick to, but he seemed to dabble in everything from wedding dresses, crochet, knitwear, lingerie and so on. It made me want to start making clothes again, which I have been meaning to do but just haven't actually sat down and started.
Anyway, after the exhibition we went to Brick Lane for a bit of last-minute summer shopping, before having tea and cake in Pretty Cuppa. We also may or may not have had a feast of a dinner in The Diner but I don't think I'm emotionally ready yet to admit to eating the huge amount of food that I ate.
NOTE - I have now left to go to France on holiday, and scheduled this post before I left. Therefore I will reply to all comments / answer emails / post more relevantly when I get home! I hope you are having a great summer!