It was quite an elegant urban experience to have attended the fashionable and beyond inspirational Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit twice.
The first time my eyes were extremely busy communicating with my creative neuron layers.
The second time earlier in July, I got to attend with my favorite 13-year old in San Francisco. The details, the palpable craft involved in each piece, that imagination transferred to each collection, one of Madonna’s old touring corsets (amongst many others), and gender-bender representation at its finest.
Other than his iconic busts in perfume packaging which I learned about while working with couture fragrance displays as a teenager, I became a fan of Gaultier’s designs in the mid-90’s. It was when I fell in love for the second time with Gary Oldman (first was as the villain in Léon: The Professional) and his get-up in the Academy Award nominated film The Fifth Element. He is one of my favorite British actors.
Well, Gaultier’s wardrobe designs take front stage in Luc Besson’s iconic 1997 film.
Gary Oldman’s outfit is that crazy futuristic trench coat-cape with the half-shaved head covered with plastic which could easily be overshadowed by the rest of Gaultier’s designs such as the white-grid strap piece worn by Sci-Fi it girl Milla Jovovich’s Leeloo character. These pieces are easily remembered by anyone that has seen this entertaining movie.
Gaultier’s movie attributions are displayed in the last room before exiting the exhibit, which alongside the rest of the rooms, are curated in a highly harmonized fashion. In the film section, the projector loops scenes from multiple international films, including Almodovar’s most recent brilliant production The Skin I Live In, surrounded by beautiful sketches, behind-the-scenes photographs, clips and multi-media cat walk sessions.
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HERBST SPECIAL EXHIBITION GALLERIES
“Exhibition dates: March 24, 2012 – August 19, 2012
Dubbed fashion’s enfant terrible, Jean Paul Gaultier launched his first prêt-à-porter collection in 1976 and founded his own couture house in 1997. Emerging as a designer in the 1970s, he developed his own dress codes that reflected the changing world around him. The openly gay Gaultier uses his designs to tackle gender and transgender issues through androgynous, gender-bending styles, meanwhile delving even further into some of the darker areas of the sexual revolution. Always provocative, he addresses issues of multiculturalism by bringing ethnic diversity to the Paris runway. Despite the gritty and sometimes controversial context of his collections, the clothes remain beautiful, superbly crafted with the finest dressmaking and detailing skills.
This dynamic, multimedia exhibition will include 140 haute couture and prêt-à-porter designs created between the mid-1970s and 2010, along with numerous sketches, archival documents, fashion photographs, and video clips that spotlight Gaultier’s collaborations with filmmakers, choreographers, and musicians, most notably Madonna. For this presentation, Gaultier partnered with the Montreal-based theater company Ubu Compagnie de Création in the design of 30 animated mannequins who talk and sing in playful and poetic vignettes.
Edited by: www.mianakano.com | Footage courtesy of Nordstrom“
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk ends this August 19th, so check it out – if you haven’t already. The video above was posted by de Young’s exhibit link.
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All the images included in this post are, as always, taken by me.
Camera: Lumix/Leica LX5. Film mode: native B+W setting.
The complete B+W foto set can be viewed here JPG set