June 23, 2012

Update + the Gaultier Exhibition

I have been terrible, I apologize. All I've been doing in New York is: 1. Eating 2. Going to work 3. Going to museums. I have a ridiculous backlog of posts but I'm going to start by blogging about one of the best fashion exhibitions that I've been to- the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the de Young.


I love stripes and the way that Gaultier combined different fabrics and materials into reinterpreting stripes. Ok these 2 pictures aren't good representations, but he had feathers arranged in black and white stripes, striped lace panels, etc (I just couldn't take a good picture of them) It was just phenomenal.

The COOLEST (and simultaneously WEIRDEST) part of the Gaultier exhibit were these faces that were projections from the ceiling. Some of them even talked. It was kind of creepy, but extremely awesome at the same time. The mermaid dress on the left was CRAZY. The skirt (which I couldn't take a good picture of) bled into this sandy bed of sand with sand dollars and pearls. I have no idea how he did it, but it looked like a beach. It was the craziest, most awesome mermaid skirt I have ever seen (ha ha Gaultier)

And a lot of the exhibition was on the Madonna years, with the cone shaped bras and these crazy geometrical hips. This was my favourite out of the bunch because the rest seemed too iterated.

The African collection part!!!! My absolute favourite (can you tell). Oh well I guess the pink poofy dress at the top and the black lacy dress at the very bottom left don't quite belong in this set (the pink poofy dress was placed with all the other poofy dresses; this was my favourite because I think wearing it would be like wearing a tutu vertically on your body. The black lace was with all the other BDSM outfits. Which just honestly made me uncomfortable. Gaultier is incredibly subversive - there were dresses on exhibit that had the naked female body imprinted onto it; there was a whole anatomy collection too that was interesting - but I was just really drawn to his "prettier" dresses, and to be honest he made even the most naked, body-baring clothes beautiful. What a talent.

The African/ Tribal part of the exhibit I basically died over. That phenomenal native American headdress with the most RIDICULOUS wedding gown skirt!! The reinterpretations of leopard print with SEQUINS! The most unique materials sewn into the patterns of images that we have been saturated with of "the tribal"! I think the most subversive quality of Gaultier is the way that he reinterprets symbols and images that we take for granted, patterns and images that have become kitschy by way of over-saturation, and then remakes them into the most gorgeous pieces of couture by reinterpreting them in the most surprising of materials. Some other things that I liked but didn't manage to get good pictures of: his reinterpretation of humble denim into the most gorgeously intricate gowns, his London grunge collections with the sequin-studded bomber jackets, the rotating clothes down the "runway" and Gaultier's interpretation of Dior's New Look. 

Us standing proudly with the signs! Dan insisted on a picture too so that he could prove he had been to a fashion exhibition. All in all, it's a PHENOMENAL exhibition. I think the curators did an absolutely fantastic job of telling a coherent story with the many, many Gaultier periods and collections, I loved that we were able to take pictures, and I thought this was truly a great example of the intersection between fashion/ art and the digital. There were videos and of course the mannequin's projected faces telling us about the Gaultier story, it was so thoughtfully put together and everything tied together in a way that reflected the Gaultier spirit and constant reinvention/ modernity.

Honestly the best fashion exhibition I've been to, and I highly highly recommend everyone visiting the Bay to drop by the de Young!! So glad that I stopped by before I left for NY.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk
de Young Museum
Ends August 19th
Students $16

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