The last few years there have been several retrospectives at museums around the globe on fashion designers. Alexander McQueen at the MET, YSL at the Petit Palais, Valentino at the Museum Les Art Decoratifs are three that I can think of that I went to see. This past week I went to see the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.
You can not help but be intrigued by the brilliance and out of the box thinking of Gaultier. He has pushed the envelope throughout his career focusing on playful street wear making statements of the times. At age 18 he was already working in Paris for Pierre Cardin. It was the first step towards having his own line by age 26.
The exhibit shows a variety of pret-a-porter designs including videos, advertisements, drawings and runway shows. The custom mannequins for the show all have interactive faces that are talking or singing. It is pretty cool. BTW, this outfit above took 163 hours to create.
The show covers his early work to his current work broken down into seven different themes. I particularly liked one of his quotes that was in the room where he began to make provocative clothes for men too. He believed that fashion was for everyone. This quote was a reaction to the convention of only using tall white models for the runway shows. He says "Perfection is relative and beauty is subjective. I wanted to make imperfection admirable. Sometimes a different energy and bearing or an unusual type of body catches my eye and makes me want to invent something. With both haute couture and pret-a-porter, I've always tried to create collections that could speak to to all kinds of men and women of different ages and styles." That saying is what makes Gaultier truly bold and unique.