I recently went to see an exhibition of Jean-Paul Gaultier clothing and designs at the Barbican here in London, so today I thought I’d treat you to some photos of his fantastic creations. And it really is a treat as everything on display was truly amazing! Outrageous sometimes, but definitely amazing.
Apart from the purely aesthetic pleasure of looking at his creations, they made me think about writing, which is kind of weird. But I realised that fashion designers are not that different from authors and other creative types. They take old ideas, turn them on their heads, scramble them a bit, and come up with something new. That’s what we do too, isn’t it?
We’re always being told there are only so many story lines/plots in the world (I’ve heard seven, ten and twelve – not sure who’s right?) and that everything we write is just a variation on an old, familiar tale. It’s the same with fashion – there are only so many types of hemline, sleeve design etc you can have. It’s how you put them together into a whole that makes the difference for all of us.
Monsieur Gaultier is obviously a genius – a bit mad sometimes (in the best possible way), it would seem, but still, a genius. His collections were not so much wearable clothes, as works of art, although I did actually fancy owning some of the outfits. I would probably have to be an extra in a remake of Mad Max to be able to carry it off though, but it would be worth it!
And although I don’t write steampunk, sci-fi or fantasy, after seeing this exhibition I had a sudden yearning to do so. You can obviously have a lot of fun thinking up fantastic outfits for your characters and ‘fun’ was a word that sprang to mind constantly when seeing the Jean-Paul Gaultier stuff. The sheer exuberance of some of the clothes on display made you smile and you could tell this was a designer who really enjoys his work. It was inspiring on so many levels.
Would I feel the same way if I wrote something totally different to my normal genres? I guess there’s only one way to find out ... Now all I need are some extra hours in the day!