The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition is currently available for viewing at the acclaimed De Young Museum, in San Francisco. Displayed throughout the gallery space is 140 haute couture as well as prêt-à-porter designs dating back to his first collections debuted in 1976. Womenswear, menswear, sketches, videos and furniture, all designed by Gaultier, are showcased in the Fashion World exhibition.
Themes and references that seem to transcend all of his collections, dating back to the late 1970’s, included ideas such as erasing gender and cultural boundaries in societies. Terms such as spirit, inclusivity and tolerance also describe his collections. Additionally he is noted for adding a bit of humor to many of his pieces.
The De Young Museum presented an incredibly special experience. Upon entering the Gaultier World mannequins lined the walls in his avant-garde creations; these specially-made mannequins had videos projected onto each face, with pre-recorded videos — of models and Gaultier himself– explaining various facts about the celebrated designer. Moreover, many of the mannequins seemed to have humorous conversations and discussions between themselves, which made for an entertaining experience.
Menswear prêt-a-porter or, ready-to-wear, by Jean Paul Gaultier showcased in this exhibition included: a crop top, sequined sailor pants, tailored trousers, black and white stripes attire, African-styled pieces and sailor inspired-attire. This naval inspired set of pieces were adorned with caps and appropriated-styled hats. Almost all of the womenswear looks were also accessorized with a hat or trendy headpiece. These hats came in the form of beautifully crafted veils, crowns, turbans and headdresses. Stand out accessories, other than hats, included in the exhibition were Asian-inspired umbrellas and delicate fans. Womenswear apparel included in this exhibition: juxtaposed Christian (religious) references with dark undertones, naval references, armor incorporated into bustier of extravagant gowns, mermaid gowns (made of pearl, shells, lace and jewels), S&M fetish boudoir attire, a garbage dress, faded-denim corsets, and pointed-bra corsets worn by singer Madonna.
The final space of the show, showcased various looks by Gaultier, in the form of illustrations, video of performances where artists wore his pieces, in addition to a fantastic Barbarella couture body-corset. Jean Paul Gaultier inspires the notion of anything is possible, with his unique, out-of-this-world design elements and imaginative couture creations.
Above image: “Immaculate gown” worn by Kylie Minogue in the music video “Like a Drug”.
Above image: The entrance poster and wall to Gaultier World was signed by Jean Paul Gaultier.
Above image: Faded denim dress with ostrich floor-length skirt.