It is not very often that haute couture is available for everyone to view.  As a result, the creativity and technical skills involved in producing these works often goes unnoticed.  I’m still sad that I was not able to catch the Alexander McQueen exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011.

Fortunately, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk collection has been traveling to different cities to bring haute couture to us regular civilians.  Nanette and I were able to catch this exhibition back when it was at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco last year.  But, I did not hesitate to go again at the Brooklyn Musuem here in New York.  The exhibition is set to run until Feb 23rd so catch it while you can!

Even having gone before, I still felt like I missed some details during my second run.  But, don’t take my word for it, I will let the pictures do the talking for Gaultier’s amazing creativity and attention to detail.

Jean Paul Gaultier - "Virgins (or Madonnas)" Collection 2008

“Virgins (or Madonnas)” Collection (2007)

Jean Paul Gaultier

For this part of the exhibition, faces were projected onto the mannequins, which eerily brought the mannequins to life… like Jean Paul Gaultier himself!

Mermaids Collection

“Mermaids” Collection (2008): I loved the intense detail of these pieces with the layering of scales and varying sequin sizes.  There were also fun additions like the coral and pirate-like tattoos.

Jean Paul Gaultier - Black Swan Collection

“Black Swan” Collection (2011)

Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier’s Corsets

Jean Paul Gaultier - "Amy Winehouse" Collection

“Amy Winehouse” Collection (2012)
*Right catwalk photo from Marie Clairvoyant

Jean Paul Gaultier - Prêt-à-Porter Punk

In Jean Paul Gaultier’s prêt-à-porter punk section, Gaultier seems to reinvent the use of denim altogether.

Jean Paul Gaultier - Prêt-à-Porter

…Not to mention the creative use of a dress’s underside, peeking pleats , and a literal necklace.

Jean Paul Gaultier - Atypical Clothing Material

Gaultier goes onto show the use of atypical clothing materials like neoprene (what wetsuits are made of) and plastic film.

Jean Paul Gaultier - Wildcat

The next part of the exhibition reveals an array of cultural influences on Gaultier’s works.  Without taking a second look, one could easily mistake this wildcat as the actual hide of an animal.

Jean Paul GaultierJean Paul Gaultier - Cultural Influences

Believe it or not, there are two more sections of the exhibition that are not pictured here at all.  There is so much to see!  Having moved from coast to coast as this blog has, we are biased in insisting that everyone check out this cultural treasure.  Haute couture is a clear example of fashion as a form of art.  However, beyond that, Gaultier certainly used fashion to question and continue the discussion on the ideas of beauty, gender and culture.  The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk closes on Feb 23rd, so catch it while you can!

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