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Brooklyn Museum's "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier" Review - From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

By Amy Munice

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He dressed Madonna (barely)…

 

 

 

He dressed Lady Gaga, famous models, Kate Winslet and more movie stars…

 

 

and made costumes for many a movie…

 

 

 

This is the USA's first and only exhibit of the haute couture of Jean Paul Gaultier.

 

 

His haute couture collection at Brooklyn Museum—VAST—is an experience in gaper’s gawk.

 

 

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.

 

 

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. 

 

 

When the “Mermaid” collection is on view you feel as if you are in a fish tank.

 

 

You walk through specially lit mood rooms that set the stage for the fashions within.

 

 

 

The mannequins’ walkway revolves such that you feel as if they are strutting down the stage and you are in the audience. 

 

 

 

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. 

 

 

 

It was gratifying to see the overflow crowds of locals too—albeit sprinkled with a significant number of people chattering away in French. 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.”

 

 

You get to see his androgynous creations that at first blush don’t seem that gender neutral, and perhaps at second thought too.

 

 

 

The  models that he selected are shown, and some are supersized in spirit and body too.

 

 

There is much corsetry, mermaids and seafaring themes, and religious iconography.

 

 

From classic looks to punk it’s all there…

 

 

The exhibit runs through February 23, 2014

 

Brooklyn Museum

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

Published on Nov 27, 2013

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