Jean Paul Gaultier (French, b. 1952). Sketch of Madonna’s stage costumes for her Blond Ambition World Tour, 1989–90, inkjet print, 11 x 17 in. (27.9 x 43.1 cm). © Jean Paul Gaultier
He dressed Madonna (barely)…
Madonna's touring outfits are one of the signature pieces of Gaultier familiar to many
One of the designs in Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Tribute to Amy Winehouse” women’s haute couture spring-summer collection of 2012. © Patrice Stable/Jean Paul Gaultier
He dressed Lady Gaga, famous models, Kate Winslet and more movie stars…
Actress Marion Cotillard in a gown from Jean Paul Gaultier’s 2008 “Mermaids” women’s haute couture spring-summer collection at that year’s Academy Awards. Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images
and made costumes for many a movie…
Pedro Almodóvar (left) with Victoria Abril and Jean Paul Gaultier in promotional photograph for Kika, directed by Almodóvar, 1993. © Nacho Pinedo/Jean Paul Gaultier archives
Helen Mirren in Peter Greenaway’s 1989 film The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover. Photo by Miramax Films/Photofest. ©Miramax Films
This is the USA's first and only exhibit of the haute couture of Jean Paul Gaultier.
That iconic men's evening gown in pink--- for women?
His haute couture collection at Brooklyn Museum—VAST—is an experience in gaper’s gawk.
Metal corset dress-a statement in lines
This is a situation where the exhibit raw materials themselves are exotic eye ticklers but they are energized all the more by the imaginative way in which the exhibit is done.
Faces were projected on to the heads of talking mannequins
Many of the mannequins have blank heads with noses that have faces projected on to them. Some speak in French and some in English. When they wink at you, you really feel that they winked at YOU.
This male mannequin was quite a winker
When the “Mermaid” collection is on view you feel as if you are in a fish tank.
Alix Malka (French). Untitled, n.d. Digital photo, 47 x 74½ in. (119.6 x 189.6 cm). “La Mariée” wedding gown from Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Mermaids” spring-summer haute couture collection of 2008. Latex bodysuit with golden scales; cone bra with shells; long, form-fitting sequined alpaca skirt with latex mermaid’s tail. ©Alix Malka
You walk through specially lit mood rooms that set the stage for the fashions within.
Special lighting in different rooms of this exhibit shifts moods with shifting designs
In this as in all haute coutour design, every aspect of each piece is made from scratch--no mail order lace here!
The mannequins’ walkway revolves such that you feel as if they are strutting down the stage and you are in the audience.
The rotating runway gives you the catwalk feel
The catwalk comes to you and you feel immersed in a fashion show
If you are a lover of haute couture this show, only at this one museum in the USA, is a definite must-see. For some fashionistas it will be worth the plane ticket to New York.
Gaultier picks his models and some are chosen for large life spirit and body alike
The Brooklyn Museum created a wide range of moods by varying lighting and backdrops-- here a cityscape
It was gratifying to see the overflow crowds of locals too—albeit sprinkled with a significant number of people chattering away in French.
Karl Lagerfeld (German, b. 1935). Untitled (Alek Wek) Numéro, March 2000. “Dubar” gown from Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Romantic India” women’s spring-summer haute couture collection of 2000. Camouflage evening gown featuring myriad khaki, cinnamon, and papaya tulle ruffles. © Karl Lagerfeld
One of the designs in Jean Paul Gaultier’s women's ready-to-wear spring-summer collection of 2013. © Patrice Stable/Jean Paul Gaultier
The Brooklyn Museum’s permanent collection and other special exhibits are top rate, and this very popular show is sure to put the Brooklyn Museum on the map for many.
Some mannequins remained faceless, the variety helping to add to the exhibit's visual interest and focus on couture
If you are tickled by seeing museums doing things right this is definitely your show too.
There are 130 haute couture and prêt-à-porter ensembles accompanied by audiovisual materials, sketches, early designs, and photographs, which the Brooklyn Museum curators proudly state, “all ..testify to Gaultier’s daring, cutting-edge style and the genius and breathtaking craftsmanship of his creations.”
A collection of works with feathers
You get to see his androgynous creations that at first blush don’t seem that gender neutral, and perhaps at second thought too.
No shortage of corset designs
Paolo Roversi (Italian, b. 1947). Tanel Bedrossiantz, 1992. Digital print, 15 x 12 in. (38.3 x 30.8 cm).Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Barbès” women’s ready-to-wear fall-winter collection of 1984–85. © Paolo Roversi
The models that he selected are shown, and some are supersized in spirit and body too.
Corsetry exploded by Gaultier is a large part of the early exhibit
There is much corsetry, mermaids and seafaring themes, and religious iconography.
“Apparitions” gown from Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Virgins (or Madonnas)” women’s haute couture spring-summer collection of 2007.“Celestial” print satin strapless sheath; bustier-style top with “hologram” embroidery and bows; ivory silk tulle overskirt; “hologram” and ivory lace veil. © Patrice Stable/Jean Paul Gaultier
From classic looks to punk it’s all there…
Gaultier's lace mouth covering is a curiosity
The exhibit runs through February 23, 2014
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238
For information call 718 638 5000 or visit the Brooklyn Museum Website.
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Photos: Peter Kachergis unless otherwise indicated