Love Is Love

Wedding Bliss for All à la Jean Paul Gaultier
Haute Couture and Prêt-à-porter Creations

From May 27, 2017 to October 22, 2017

Around a monumental wedding cake, Love Is Love features Jean Paul Gaultier’s most beautiful bridal creations. Their daring lines and exquisite artistry bear witness to the eccentricity of this iconoclastic designer who is renowned for his spectacular silhouettes as well as his humanist, inclusive vision. This celebration of marriage and love brings together heterosexual, homosexual, intercultural and interracial couples in diversity and peace.

Photo MMFA, Denis Farley

In 2011, the MMFA presented The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, the first international retrospective devoted to the famous French designer. Produced by the MMFA in collaboration with the Maison Jean Paul Gaultier, it captivated over two million visitors in twelve cities around the world (Montreal, Dallas, San Francisco, Madrid, Rotterdam, Stockholm, New York, London, Melbourne, Paris, Munich and Seoul) – a record for a fashion exhibition!

“The tour of the exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier gave me the opportunity to show my creations around the world. I call this show by the MMFA ‘my biggest fashion show ever!’ In keeping with tradition, whereby an haute couture fashion show finishes with the bridal gown and to thank Quebecers for their enthusiasm for my work, but also the MMFA’s creative team behind this record-setting tour, it is only fitting that the grand finale feature my most beautiful wedding gowns, most of which are being shown for the first time in this Montreal exclusive. Love Is Love, long live the newlyweds!” — Jean Paul Gaultier

A Unique Exhibition Design

Love Is Love features a spectacular audiovisual and musical design that celebrates Jean Paul Gaultier’s boundless imagination and twenty years of haute couture.

This Montreal exclusive presentation features thirty-six wedding gowns and suits created between 1990 and 2017 around a monumental wedding cake. The faces of some of the mannequins, provided by JoliCœur International, are animated by Denis Marleau and Stéphanie Jasmin of the avant-garde Montreal theatre company UBU. Melissa Auf der Maur, Virginie Coossa, Suzie Leblanc, Ève Salvail and Jean Paul Gaultier are among the celebrities who lent their faces and voices.

The work of Dutch designer Jurgen Bey of Studio Makkink & Bey is featured with an installation of furniture and objects that have been entirely covered in an immaculate elastic membrane, like a cocoon

Social Commitment

A festive installation bearing a humanist and pacifist message, Love Is Love reflects the ongoing commitment of Jean Paul Gaultier and the MMFA to promote the acceptance of diversity and to continue the fight against homophobia. The show’s title is an allusion to the speech given by Barack Obama, then-president of the United States, on June 26, 2015, regarding the legalization of homosexual marriage in all American states.

Iconoclastic Haut Couture Creations

The tradition of concluding haute couture shows with a bridal gown was introduced by Christian Dior in 1949 and continued by other haute couture houses such as Lanvin and Balmain.

A defender of diversity, Jean Paul Gaultier revisited the classic white dress. Since his beginnings in 1976 with his ready-to-wear line, the “enfant terrible de la mode” presented spectacular bridal creations that challenged stereotypes and dress codes with humour:

  • in 1990, the bride’s veil was attached to the decor, which fell at the end of the show;
  • in 1992, a headdress created from toilet paper rolls was unfurled over the podium like a veil;
  • in 2005, for his collection Tribute to Africa, he created a shield-veil, like a tribal mask, covered with pleated tulle.
  • In 2013, he paid tribute to David Bowie with his collection Ashes to Ashes and the final outfit made of silk faille with tulle flounces embroidered with Swarovski crystals.
  • in 2015, further to the debate in 2013 in France about marriage for all, a bustier with a train, topped with an elaborate headdress made of curlers, for his collection 61 Ways to Say Yes, became the season’s theme with outfits named To be or not to bi, Jamais avant le mariage and La mariée bipolaire.
  • In 2006, firmly believing in equal rights, Gaultier presented his collection Gay Wedding, where his muse, Tanel Bedrossiantz, closed the show with his “husband.” In 2011, his grand finale featured the Quebecer Ève Salvail as a “Black Swan” bride, wearing a draped 3D corset dress. And for his collection Punk Cancan, the bride was a man.

Cultural Activities

In connection with this exhibition, the Museum is presenting a comprehensive programme of films, lectures, concerts and guided tours, as well as activities for families. Most of these activities are offered free of charge.


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The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts published a major art book in 2011 – the first on Gaultier – under the general editorship of Thierry-Maxime Loriot and in collaboration with Abrams for the English edition, Éditions de La Martinière for the French edition and Fundacion Mapfre for the Spanish edition. The design was entrusted to the Montreal agency Paprika.

This large-format art book (424 pages and over 550 illustrations) in a handsome slipcase features many previously unpublished illustrations thanks to the collaboration of renowned fashion photographers and the Maison Jean Paul Gaultier.

This comprehensive monograph brings together archival documents and over fifty interviews with Gaultier’s muses and colleagues, as well as the artists he has created costumes for. It also includes two interviews with Gaultier as well as an interview with Valerie Steele, fashion historian and director of New York’s Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). An essay written by Suzy Menkes, journalist and fashion editor at The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune, looks at Gaultier’s fashion shows and examines their visionary reflection of society’s evolution.

A total of six publications have been produced over the course of this record tour. A second volume, also published by the Museum, accompanied the exhibition to Seoul (288 pages, 220 illustrations, under the general editorship of Thierry-Maxime Loriot). This edition featured eighty per cent new images, many of which had never before been published. It includes art photographs by some of the greatest names in photography (Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Peter Lindbergh, Paolo Roversi, Mario Testino, David LaChapelle and Helmut Newton), as well as numerous artists (Roe Etheridge, Pierre & Gilles, Nan Goldin, Andy Warhol, Liu Bolin, Jean-Paul Goude, Annie Kevans, Izima Kaoru). It is available in English, French and German. The English edition is only available in South Korea and at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Boutique and Bookstore.

Curatorial Team

The exhibition is produced by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Maison Jean Paul Gaultier. It is curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot under the direction of Nathalie Bondil. The exhibition is designed by the MMFA, under the direction of Sandra Gagné, Head of Exhibitions Production, in collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier. It includes an installation by Dutch designer Jurgen Bey of Studio Makkink & Bey


The exhibition has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Aldo, JoliCœur International, the Consulat général de France à Québec and Tourisme Montréal. The Museum is also grateful to Air Canada, Bell, La Presse and the Montreal Gazette for their vital contributions.