Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

At last, my long awaited visit to the Jean Paul Gaultier retrospective at San Francisco’s beyond amazing museum the de Young, which happens to be just a couple blocks from my house. Having experienced previous exhibitions here on designers (namely YSL and Balenciaga), I had some sort of pre-conceived notions of what to expect in terms of layout details. Those notions left me upon observing the ultra-modern holograms projected on each of the mannequins’ faces, depicting Gaultier’s past models and muses chattering and singing, as well as one of them being Jean Paul himself. Both my friend and I were a bit creeped out at first by these digital faces seemingly looking at and speaking to us. But this as JP Gaulti’s aesthetic written all over it, thus in need of appreciation. You can’t possibly help walking out of that impeccably curated exhibit without an overwhelming sense of this man’s genius in the realm of all things avant-garde.

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As nautical stripes are an essential part of Gaultier’s most esteemed work, we’re introduced to the exhibit with The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier, a selection of his signature style (aligning with mine as well). The meaning behind starting the exhibit with this lies in the fact that the sailor stripe is how his career began.

From his “mergirl-mariner” themed Couture Spring 2008 collection.

This leopard skin beaded evening gown with rhinestone claws behooves me to restrict myself to only this form of animal hide on garments from this moment on. Although would it really be a restriction? Perhaps just on my budget.

My selected prime piece from his Punk Can-Can collection.

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