First came the works of Vivienne Westwood. Then a seamless Alexander McQueen show. Now the deYoung Museum intends to outdo itself with an earth's core-shattering retrospective of Jean Paul Gaultier. Opening on March 24, the de Young Museum presents The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, the first exhibition devoted to the French designer famous for the cone bra, Madonna's Blond Ambition tour, costuming numerous Luc Besson and Pedro Almodovar movies, and so much more. His personal themes of “equality, diversity and perversity" will highlight the exhibit on view at the de Young from March 24 August 19, 2012.
Ever since he hit the runway in the '70s, the enfant terrible is considered one of the most important fashion designers of all time. Before McQueen and Gallino busted out their own special brands of craziness, Gaultier's avant-garde fashions "reflected an understanding of a multicultural society’s issues and preoccupations, shaking up—with invariable good humor—established societal and aesthetic codes. More of a contemporary installation than a fashion retrospective, this major exhibition—which the couturier considers to be a creation in its own right—features approximately 140 ensembles spanning over 35 years from the designer’s couture and ready-to-wear collections, along with their accessories, and numerous archival documents. Many of these extraordinary pieces have never before been exhibited."
The installation will have six different sections marking the designer's development:
The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier - begins the exhibition with an exploration of several signature Gaultier motifs - the blue and white striped sailor shirt in all its themes and variations, spectacular mermaids and virgins, and welcomes the visitor with singing mannequins and a special cameo by the designer himself.
The Boudoir - explores Gaultier’s fascination with lingerie and underpinnings culminating in his signature collaboration with Madonna for her Blonde Ambition tour.
Skin Deep - a risqué, provocative gallery featuring garments inspired by themes of bondage and body art.
Punk Cancan - features the dichotomy between the typical upscale French couture client and the street punks of London.
Urban Jungle - a multicultural clash of influences including Hussars, Mongolians, Hassidic Jews, Frida Kahlo and China. This gallery includes highlights of Gaultier’s haute couture detailing with unusual materials and techniques on view.
Metropolis - concludes the exhibition with a presentation of Gaultier’s work for film, performance pieces and his relationships with pop icons such as Kylie Minogue and Tina Turner.
Punk Cancan? Our head just exploded. Anyway, among the many items of wonder you will find include Gaultier's childhood teddy bear complete with a nascent cone bra. Genius.
The grand opening party happens on March 23 at 8 pm. Tickets are an astounding $250-$300. For a more affordable and less glitzy affair, simply head over to the deYoung next month to check out the exhibit. There will be a $10 surcharge in addition to regular museum admission price.
What: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk
Where: deYoung Museum, Golden Gate Park (50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive), SF, 415-750-3600