The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk
Sexy, daring, beautiful, artistic and a little intimidating: these words describe Jean Paul Gaultier’s designs, the famous women known for wearing them, and, most relevant here, a new exhibit celebrating his work at the Brooklyn Museum.
If you loved the Met’s groundbreaking Alexander McQueen show, you definitely need to check this out. With a similar edgy and smart aesthetic, it’s the most impressive fashion museum exhibit since Savage Beauty.
Gaultier himself put in an appearance at the press preview to talk about the show. He shared that he didn’t initially want to be the focus of a museum exhibit, explaining, “Clothes are made to be worn.” But then he changed his mind after, thinking, “I could make something else, a new adventure. I wanted to make it come alive. I wanted to make the mannequins speak.” And he did…
Yes, the mannequins in the exhibition are animated in a high tech, and spookier way. Filmed faces are shown on the mannequins’ faces. At first glance they actually seem alive: they smile, they talk, some sing. One looks like musician Melissa Auf der Maur. Another has the face of Jean Paul Gaultier—and that one speaks to museum goers in both French and English, and occasionally winks and flirts. Some of the mannequins’ bodies move as well. One room has a constantly rotating catwalk of mannequins.
But the cutting-edge mannequins aren’t the focus of this exhibit, Gaultier’s dramatic clothing is. The show is divided into seven sections, groupings based on the themes of the designer’s work rather than the chronological stages of his career. Each combines clothing with photos, artwork, and accessories.
The From Sidewalk to Catwalk exhibit was initially created for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It will be the first fashion exhibit ever to show in more than ten venues throughout the world. You can catch it in Brooklyn from October 25th through February 23rd—and we recommend you definitely do.
All photos by Driely S