For those of us not finding ourselves sitting in the front rows of Paris Fashion Week runway shows, visiting fashion exhibits in museums is the closest we can get to the magical couture runway experience. While some exhibits merely present the clothes on static mannequins, providing a rather dull retrospective, the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit was an animated and stimulating delight!
From the moment I walked up the stairs I was greeted with animated mannequins dressed to the nines in iconic Jean Paul Gaultier nautically inspired garb and mermaid-like ensembles. The Jean Paul Gaultier mannequin, as seen above, actually introduced himself and spoke about the exhibit in both English and French. Incroyable!
This was perhaps my favorite piece, and one I most certainly wish could makes its way into my wardrobe. With the ostrich feathers flowing from the bottom, it's a luxurious update on a classic striped nautical dress, and yet still alluringly simple.
Moving from room to room encountered spectacular works of tailored art.
From beaded gowns
(No, that's not real animal skin. It's all beaded, and took over two thousand hours to make!)
To feathered jackets and boots,
And coned bras to neoprene suits, the imaginative designs of France's enfant terrible sent me dreaming about walks through the streets of Paris,
(Please note the Eiffel Tower heels and fur-lined footbeds. I was blown away with the detailing)
Mingling with members of London's punk counterculture,
Or entering a vibrant scifi movie scene.
I've been lucky enough to visit several designer exhibits over the years, including the Chanel exhibit at the Met several years ago, and this was perhaps my favorite of them all. The whole thing was a seamless production, with detailed information about the garments, thorough explanations of the inspiration behind each collection, dramatic staging, and multimedia installations. It certainly whet my appetite for couture. Bring on Paris Fashion Week!