What You Looking At?
The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco really speaks to you. While standing in the crowded room, taking in all the fabulous fashion as if I were at the best cocktail party ever, one of the models looked directly at me and said We Love You.
At first I thought it was clairvoyance going off the charts, until my friend Heather came over and commented, “freaky!” You can hear the mannequins talking above the ambient music, eyes directly on you, then flitting away again. Their faces are animated by projection beam and they’re reading audio scripts that embody a person who loves and lives in Jean Paul Gaultier.
That’s just the intro to this incredible exhibit whose centerpiece is the cone bras and other boudoir-inspired costumes that Gaultier created for Madonna’s Vogue-era Blonde Ambition tour. It’s a retrospective of classic styles subverted by suggestions from the underground—street, punk, urban, bondage, graffiti, and more.
His fashions push boundaries, imagine the unimaginable and make it all break through into the everyday experience. They’re wearable in the way that a person can put them on and feel something different. It’s subversive style with staying power.—Michelle Zaffino