Stepping into the world of John Paul Gaultier

John Paul Gaultier, the final word in creative and passionate couture.  I had the great pleasure of visiting the De Young museum in San Francisco, to see his retrospective exhibition, when I was home visiting last month.  This was my first time at the museum and it’s lovely location in the park above the city.  The observation deck, if you can beat the crowds to it, has a fantastic view of Twin Peaks (the real one yes) seen in the 2nd photograph.

Inside, visitors are greeted by a quote from a classified ad John Paul placed for models when he was first beginning his line. “Non Conformist designer seeks unusual models – the conventional pretty need not apply”.  I find that very inspiring and another reason why his influence has been so strong in fashion for so many years.  One of my favourite things about Gaultier as a designer, is his love of women.  You can tell, not only by what he says, but by the inherent glamour and playfulness of his work that the female form inspires him and brings him joy.  His muses have always been very strong, unusual and fiercely beautiful women like Dita Von Teese, Crystal Renn, Kylie, Madonna and Gaga.

The exhibition then moves into a space with mannequins (including a JPG himself!) with digitally projected faces which connect with audio to sing and speak to the viewers…modern magic!  It was fantastic seeing and hearing Gaultier speak and joke with the audience in this way…it made you feel like he was right in the room with you, showing off his mermaid collection.

My favourite part of the collection was the boudoir area with lots of pale pink corsetry, perfumes and gowns.  A girls dream!  Hopefully the exhibition will make its way to Europe soon where so many more Gaultier fans are waiting to step into his luminous and colorful world.