Jean Paul Gaultier. Everyone knows that name. Whether you’re into fashion or not, we’ve all heard of his iconic high fashion and perfume brand. It conjures up images of his classic sailor striped shirts, iconic torso-shaped perfume bottles, and the rebellious French designer himself.
From today onwards, as a first for both South America and Argentina, a selection of dresses and suit ensembles all designed by the man himself will be displayed in the suitably grand settings of the Salon de Escudos of the CCK. Gaultier has dedicated the collection to love in all of its diversity and equal marriage, which is reflected in the title of ‘Amor es amor, el matrimonio igualitario según Jean Paul Gaultier.’ Comprising 35 ensembles, the collection’s pieces were designed and created between the years of 1991 and 2018.
Known as an ‘enfant terrible,’ an unruly and rebellious ‘child,’ of the fashion world, Gaultier has always had a reputation for pushing fashion’s boundaries and challenging deep rooted gender stereotypes about who should be wearing what. As one of the first designers of the 80s to break gender conventions, Gaultier made a name for himself in 1985, when he was the first to send a male model down the runway in a skirt.
Looking at his collection you could be confused to find that he does in fact tend to design many intricately designed wedding gowns that are traditionally romantic and beautiful in every sense, but not necessarily atypical. When questioned, Gaultier assures that it’s not a contradiction; it’s ok to dedicate an exhibition to gender-typical romantic designs as well as to gender equality.
Although he says he’s not necessarily in favor of marriage, it’s clear that traditional wedding wear holds some sort of captivation for him. Suggesting his fascination with wedding clothes stems from a desire to design clothing that is theatrical: Gaultier said it was also important to him to design clothes that would be cherished and be an important part of the wearer’s life.
As an advocate for gender equality in a world still bound in many ways by gender stereotypes, Gaultier believes in women who are both romantic and strong, adding that men can also be the sexy seducers. This union of both the traditional and modern without any enforcement of strict, binary expectations is exactly what he wants to emulate through his collection.
Proud to be showcasing his designs in Argentina, where same sex marriage is legal, when asked about the current global movement for gender equality, Gaultier optimistically asserted that right now we’re living a moment of global change and reaction.
A partir del 21/3 se podrá visitar “#AmoresAmor– El matrimonio igualitario según @JPGaultier“, una exhibición que incluye 35 vestidos y trajes de novias y novios excepcionales por la audacia de sus diseños y refinada confección.
— CCK (@elCCKoficial) March 20, 2018
Visit the CCK any time from today onwards until July 15. Jean Paul Gaultier’s exhibition is open Wednesday through to Sunday from 1 PM until 8 PM. For more info, see here.