This exceptional exhibition provides a unique insight into each of these two talented creators’ collaborations. The costumes are presented in a display focussing on the ballets that were the fruit of the insolent creativity of Régine Chopinot and Jean Paul Gaultier. The most famous of these was undoubtedly Le Défilé in 1985, an atypical creation for sixteen dancers, actors and models. Half-fashion show half-ballet, it became a landmark in contemporary fashion history by reconciling a new generation of choreographers with dance costume, which had been reduced to it most minimal expression since the 1960s.
Le Défilé’s extraordinary costumes were designed and made according to the codes which usually structure a fashion show. Corset dresses, fantastic cabled wool crinolines, “giant panties” and “cushion dresses” chased off the conventional “tutus”. Le Défilé was a profession of faith on the part of an iconoclastic, humorous and demanding couturier.
The exhibition, created in close collaboration with Régine Chopinot and Jean Paul Gaultier, focuses on costumes which act as “manifestos” for each choreographic piece, accompanying them with videos of their performance. In the extremely purified exhibition space, skilfully emphasised with a touch of illusionism, the costumes appear to be temporarily suspended in time and space.