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J P Gaultier: Disability Chic

Jean Paul Gaultier at The Barbiacan

Jean Paul Gaultier at The Barbiacan

I made it across to The Barbican for the last weekend of the The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier and imagine my surprise when almost the first item I saw was the outfit above complete with walking sticks – JPG does disability chic … Oh okay, not really, as that was it in terms of disability aids in evidence.

Nevertheless, it was a most enjoyable experience – more so than I’d expected as JPG is a designer whose work I’ve admired more for its’ fun than its’ aesthetic.

And it was fun – the exhibition, that is.  From the first room where D was fascinated by the moving eyes and faces on the dummies to the boudoir-chic of the upper level.

My favourite elements were seeing the haute couture outfits in close-up – those catwalk models must be positively giraffe like – the blow-ups of some iconic fashion photography and some lovely illustrative work on the walls.

My to-die-for combination was a fabulous leather rock jacket combined with an oh-so-pretty long white tulle skirt and bovver boots that was so – with drop dead gorgeous mohican hair – Isabelle Adjani in Subway. Just beautiful:

Isabelle Adjani in Subway

Isabelle Adjani in Subway

I wish I was able to recommend the exhibition but … too late now (I did recommend it on my – lifestyle – Plus Black blog in April).

As you’d expect, and even though it was my first time there in my electric wheelchair, it was all very accessible.

D dropped me off in the underpass just before the car park as I was worried about the uneven slopes of the car park.

That was all good and, inside, The Barbican is all lifts and level access.  The lift in the exhibition space is small for the electric wheelchair – I had to go in backwards and drop my feet, down and back, to get my wheels in there but I managed despite a brief claustrophobic panic as the doors shut!

On leaving, I did brave the uneven slopes up to the car park – I’m a lot braver going up than down – and it was a bit rocky.  I was fine with the up and I would have got down if i’d had to but I don’t think I’d have felt good doing it.  No doubt, another time, I will have a go …

Don’t let my wheelie weakness put you off though.  As venues go, The Barbican is a pretty good place to visit for wheelchair accessibility.

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