From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

Last week I went on a ModCloth team outing to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young Museum. It was the exhibit’s final week in San Francisco (and its last stop in the United States), but if you should happen to find yourself in Madrid or the Netherlands when the international tour makes its appearance in those cities, check it out!

I must admit that I didn’t know all that much about Gaultier (besides glimpses of his fashion line over the years), and I was pleasantly surprised by his sense of humor – though I should have known, because his sense of humor comes through in his designs!

The exhibit started with an introduction from Gaultier himself – well, a talking mannequin version, anyway. His face and the faces of other mannequins throughout the exhibit were animated by 3D projected images. Eerie but fabulous.

Jean Paul Gaultier, the talking mannequin.

Jean Paul Gaultier, the talking mannequin.

What follows are photos I took of a few of my favorite parts of the show (click the photos to view a larger version). This is only a tiny portion of the show – I really should have had at least 2 days to soak everything in.

WARNING: image heavy, but full of AWESOME.

Front: Auréole gown. Back: Communion dress. Both from the Virgins collection, haute couture SS 2007. Amazing hood in Gaultier's sailor-inspired collection.
— Left: Auréole gown (front) and Communion dress (back). Both from the Virgins collection, haute couture SS 2007. Right: Amazing hood in Gaultier’s sailor-inspired collection.

La Bal de Sirènes gown, from the Mermaids collection, haute couture SS 2008.

La Bal de Sirènes gown, Mermaids collection, haute couture SS 2008.

Corset worn by Madonna during her Blonde Ambition Tour, 1990. Saut de l'Ange gown, Black Swan collection, haute couture FW 2011-2012.
— Left: Corset worn by Madonna during her Blonde Ambition Tour, 1990. Right: Saut de l’Ange gown, Black Swan collection, haute couture FW 2011-2012.

Long sheath with gored skirt, Ze Parisienne collection, haute couture SS 2002. Corset dress with maxi-length train, Around the World in 168 Outfits collection, women's prêt-à-porter collection SS 1989.
— Left: Long sheath with gored skirt, Ze Parisienne collection, haute couture SS 2002. Right: Corset Dress with maxi-length train, Around the World in 168 Outfits collection, women’s prêt-à-porter SS 1989.

Men's shoes from The Modern Man collection, men's prêt-à-porter FW 1996-1997.

Men’s shoes from The Modern Man collection, men’s prêt-à-porter FW 1996-1997.

Moins que Zéro corset, Parisiennes collection, haute couture FW 2010-2011 (front). Moins que Zéro corset, Parisiennes collection, haute couture FW 2010-2011 (back).
— Perhaps the highlight of the exhibit for me: Moins que Zéro corset from the Parisiennes collection, haute couture FW 2010-2011. The spine in back was particularly amazing. (Definitely worth clicking through to see the details!)

Leopard Skin beaded evening gown with rhinestone claws, Russia collection, haute couture FW 1997-1997.

Another standout piece: Leopard Skin beaded evening gown with rhinestone claws, Russia collection, haute couture FW 1997-1997. The entire gown is beaded, with the beads forming the realistic print. Time needed to create: 1,006 hours.

Claw detail from the Leopard Skin beaded evening gown, Russia collection, haute couture FW 1997-1997.

Claw detail from the Leopard Skin beaded evening gown.

African Queen gown, Tribute to Africa collection, SS 2005.

African Queen gown, Tribute to Africa collection, SS 2005. I love how Gaultier melded mask and dress here.

Women's ensemble, Russia collection, haute couture FW 1997-1998. Women's ensemble, Russia collection, haute couture FW 1997-1998.
— Women’s ensemble, Russia collection, haute couture FW 1997-1998. I would LOVE to have this dress and wear it on a cold winter day (yes, I’d even put up with the cold in order to wear it!). Though I don’t doubt that the knitted ball at the tip of the breast was placed there purposefully.

Corset in denim motif with train, Ze Parisienne collection, haute couture SS 2002. Top and leggings in Flayed Skin print, Bad Girls - G Spot collection, women's prêt-à-porter SS 2010.

Corset in denim motif with train, Ze Parisienne collection, haute couture SS 2002. Top and leggings in Flayed Skin print, Bad Girls – G Spot collection, women’s prêt-à-porter SS 2010.

Gaulthique top, leggings, and Cameron codpiece, Rock Stars collection, men's prêt-à-porter FW 1987-1988. Garbage Bag dress, High-Tech collection, women's prêt-à-porter FW 1980-1981.
— Left: Gaulthique top, leggings, and Cameron codpiece, Rock Stars collection, men’s prêt-à-porter FW 1987-1988. Right: Clearly the original Derelicte (years before the Galliano collection parodied by Zoolander!): Garbage Bag dress, High-Tech collection, women’s prêt-à-porter FW 1980-1981.

Paris-Glasgow-Delhi sari-style gown, Paris and Its Muses collection, haute couture FW 2000-2001. Biker demi-jacket, Louise Brooks Meets Easy Rider collection, women's prêt-à-porter SS 2001. Dubar gown with camouflage motif, Romantic India collection, haute couture SS 2000.
— Left: Paris-Glasgow-Delhi sari-style gown, Paris and Its Muses collection, haute couture FW 2000-2001. Biker demi-jacket, Louise Brooks Meets Easy Rider collection, women’s prêt-à-porter SS 2001. Right: Dubar gown with camouflage motif, Romantic India collection, haute couture SS 2000.

Barbarella bodysuit, Movie Stars collection, haute couture FW 2009-2010; American flag costume worn by Kylie Minogue during her For You, For Me tour (2009).

Barbarella bodysuit, Movie Stars collection, haute couture FW 2009-2010; American flag costume worn by Kylie Minogue during her For You, For Me tour (2009).

Fin.

[All photos taken by me.]

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