Blog

Must-see: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

Posted by MJC. Filed under Editor's Picks

Must-see: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk 1

Gaultier's Madonnas

Must-see: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk 1

One of many costumes made by JPG for Madonna on exhibit

Must-see: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk 1

Fetish-inspired creations similar to those used by Madonna for her Blonde Ambition tour

Must-see: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk 1

Just one of JPG's couture creations - truly a work of art!

Must-see: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk 1Must-see: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk 1Must-see: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk 1Must-see: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk 1

It seems unnaturally noisy near the entrance of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit. Unlike in other museums where photography of special exhibits is strictly forbidden, the clicking of digital cameras and camera phones is yet another layer of sound that continues throughout the galleries.

It’s just as well since the designer is the first thing you’ll see — and hear — at this remarkable exhibit highlighting 35 years of his career thus far. 

Instead of projecting video interviews on a blank wall, the team at San Francisco’s De Young Museum chose to project the designer’s face on a mannequin made in his image and likeness.

Wearing a striped sailor’s shirt with padded shoulders, Gaultier “greets” museum goers by talking a bit about his childhood and how his grandmother fed his love for fashion. The designer, however, is not the only talking head. Over two dozen male and female models will blink their eyes, talk, and even break into song throughout the ongoing exhibit.

Standing beside the designer on the first platform are mannequins wearing some of his most iconic creations. To his left are versions of the white sailor’s shirt and their easily identifiable blue horizontal stripes while on his right are the Virgins (or Madonnas) from spring/summer 2007.

An entire section of the gallery is devoted to his corsets (famously worn by Madonna for her Blonde Ambition tour in the ‘90s). If Gaultier’s collaboration with Madonna raised temperatures, his haute couture collection featuring images of the Virgin Mary surely raised eyebrows when they were first shown in 2007. In the exhibit, six haloed Madonnas wear elaborate beaded dresses embellished with religious imagery like pierced and bleeding hearts, and biblical vignettes. Tucked among the folds of one gown are flaming hearts made of tin and pictures of the Infant Jesus.  

There are 140 haute couture and pret-a-porter ensembles by the designer on display — including a virtual fashion show and trash-talking “tattooed” punks — that it can get a bit confusing especially after the “fetish” gallery. In this section, the designer uses latex, leather, and hair to come up with various bodysuits and harnesses.

There is simply so much to see and admire by one of France’s enfants terrible. – Raoul Chee Kee

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is ongoing until Aug. 19 at the De Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Raoul Chee Kee is an editor and writer at Business World

 

 

Post a comment