Monday, October 28, 2013

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibition

I love fashion exhibitions. Period. But rarely have I been to one where I never wanted it to end. Such was the case when I attended, "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Catwalk to the Sidewalk."

Since his early runway shows in the late 1970s, Jean Paul Gaultier remains one of the most important fashion designers of modern times. Distinctly different from traditional couture, his avantgarde designs reflect today’s multicultural society. Already seen by more than a half million visitors, "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier" is the first international exhibition dedicated to the groundbreaking French couturier. Organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238-6052) is the only East coast venue chosen to host this critically acclaimed touring show which is currently on through February 24, 2014. (Those of you on the other side of the ocean will have the opportunity to see this exhibit when it arrives in London in April of next year.)

Jean Paul Gaultier himself considers this innovative exhibition as far more than a mere fashion retrospective but rather as a creative theatrical spectacle in its own right. Throughout the galleries, thirty-two unique mannequins wearing remarkable wigs and headdresses by Odile Gilbert, founder of the Atelier 68 in Paris who designed the wigs for Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette, come alive with interactive faces created by technologically ingenious audiovisual projections, surprising visitors with their lifelike presence.
Virtual fashion show, the mannequins parade down a circular "catwalk."
Poetic and playful, the production, design, and staging of this dynamic audiovisual element has been produced by Denis Marleau and Stéphanie Jasmin of UBU/Compagnie de création from Montreal, Canada. A dozen celebrities, including Gaultier himself, have lent their faces projected onto the mannequins and often their voices to this project. In addition, many of the mannequins revolve to display all angles of each ensemble, while some circulate on a continuously moving catwalk.
As you move throughout the exhibition, many of the mannequins roll their eyes, yawn and make comments even to each other. There were times when we wondered if someone was watching us and manipulating the mannequin to react to our own winks and assorted gestures. This is by far, the most innovative, captivating fashion exhibition we believe has ever been shown.
Gaultier's mannequin gives an ongoing lecture as he takes center stage amidst the animated mannequins.
 “While paying tribute to the creative genius of Jean Paul Gaultier, this exhibition raises the bar in terms of fashion presentation as art in a museum as well as celebrates today’s cultural and ethnic diversity,” says Arnold L. Lehman, Brooklyn Museum Director. “Jean Paul Gaultier’s mastery of the complex technical demands of haute couture is matched only by his rich and unrivalled artistic collaborations. His unconventional designs, frequently spiked with his sense of whimsy and quixotic humor, reflect the richness of our cultures.”
The visitor gets an up close and personal view of the intricacy of these embroidered corsets.
For inspiration for his designs, Jean Paul Gaultier turned to his keen fascination with a variety of cultures and countercultures. Punk street wear is another key reference point for him. Openly gay, the fashion designer interpreted gender and transgender issues and created uniquely distinctive androgynous, gender-blending designs.
What appears to be fur is really tiny beadwork!!!

The multimedia exhibition is organized into six thematic sections tracing the diverse influences marking Jean Paul Gaultier’s artistic development from his early years as a studio assistant for fashion designer Pierre Cardin to his role as chief creative director for Hermes as well as for his own brand name.

Denim couture as you've never seen before.
The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier introduces us to the couturier’s universe by way of his trademark
themes; sailors, mermaids, and religious iconography set the tone of this section where his very first
design (1971), never before exhibited, is also on display.

The Boudoir reveals the designer’s fascination with and transformation of lingerie. It features his
trailblazing conical bras and corsets made for Madonna’s 1990 Blonde Ambition World Tour.

Skin Deep illustrates that in Jean Paul Gaultier’s hands, clothing becomes a second skin, sometimes
through trompe-l’oeil effects that give the illusion of nudity, a flayed human body, or tattoos. This section of the exhibition is also devoted to the Gaultier take on the male sex, with examples of couture designs, including his famous skirts for men.
Chatty Kathys, they talk amongst each other while you look on!!!
Punk Cancan illustrates the contrasting styles and themes Gaultier has blended throughout his career: the Parisian classicism and elegance in which he was born and lives, and the origin and development of the punk movement in London, which he discovered and embraced from its inception.

Urban Jungle serves up Jean Paul Gaultier multicultural style, based on the dress of Mongolians,
Hussars, Hasidic Jews, Peruvians, and the Chinese, along with that of such iconic artists as Frida Kahlo. His unique haute couture craftsmanship, with its rich detailing and intricate techniques, takes center stage.

Metropolis ends the exhibition and showcases Jean Paul Gaultier’s collaborations with filmmakers
and performers. His relationships with singular pop icons like Tina Turner, Nirvana, and Kylie Minogue are spotlighted.

What's also a treat is the ability to see each garment up close and personal. From a distance, what appears to be a spotted fur dress is really a complex maze of tiny beads. One can appreciate the intricacy of the embroidery of Gaultier's Haute Couture garments. We are positively mesmerized by the limitless imagination and creativity of this truly fashion genius.
Singing to the choir, these exquisitely dress mannequins open their eyes and sing!
Intrigued by this review but live too far to see the show… here for a virtual tour of the original show in Montreal by "VideoDailyFashion" complete with interviews of the designer and a look at his work.

Up next.....the girls (accompanied by Richard) are back in Paris!!!!!

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