'The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk' Opens at the Brooklyn Museum Today
For almost four decades, Jean Paul Gaultier has shaped the look of contemporary fashion with his avant-garde creations and cutting-edge designs. The Brooklyn Museum will be the only East Coast venue for The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, the first international exhibition of this celebrated French couturier's work. On view in Brooklyn from today, October 25, 2013, through February 23, 2014, this spectacular overview of Gaultier's extensive oeuvre will include exclusive material not exhibited in previous venues of the tour, such as pieces from his recent haute couture and ready-to-wear collections and stage costumes worn by Beyoncé.
The Brooklyn presentation will also feature Gaultier costumes never before seen in New York, such as items lent by Madonna, including her iconic corsets from the Blond Ambition World Tour (1990) and costumes from the Confessions Tour (2006) and the MDNA Tour (2012). Costumes created for Kylie Minogue, Pedro Almodovar's Kika(1994) and Bad Education (2004), and Luc Besson's Fifth Element (1996) will also be part of the exhibition.
The French couturier says of the Brooklyn presentation: "I am proud and honored that this exhibition will be presented here, where the true spirit of New York lives on. I was always fascinated by New York, its energy, the skyscrapers of Manhattan, that special view of the sky between the tall buildings. On one of my first trips I decided to walk all the way uptown from the Village until Harlem. It took me the whole day, and I will never forget the pleasure of discovering this great city. But most of all it is a melting pot, a place where you can go around the world in one day, where all the races and creeds live together.
For Gaultier, the street has been the source of his inspiration as well as his ultimate goal, for, like all great couturiers, his greatest desire is for his creations to be worn, lived in, and seen by all the world. Gaultier's reputation for witty and daring designs and a ceaseless interest in society, identity, and beauty born of difference has earned him a place in fashion history.
This theatrically-staged show, more of a contemporary installation that explores the boundaries where art and fashion intersect, will feature 130 haute couture and ready-to-wear ensembles accompanied by audiovisual materials, sketches, early designs, and photographs, all of which testify to Jean Paul Gaultier's daring, cutting-edge style and the superb craftsmanship of his creations. Gaultier's rich collaborations with renowned contemporary artists and photographers such as Andy Warhol, Richard Avedon, David LaChapelle, Pierre & Gilles, Herb Ritts, Cindy Sherman, Peter Lindbergh, Stéphane Sednaoui, and Mario Testino is a major focus of attention.
This critically acclaimed touring show was initiated and produced by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts under the direction of Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator, and Thierry- Maxime Loriot, curator of the exhibition, in collaboration with Maison Jean Paul Gaultier Paris. "By creating this exhibition, I wanted to show the profound humanity that inspires Jean Paul Gaultier's work and share--beyond the virtuosity of haute couture and the couturier's unbridled imagination--the values of tolerance and respect that unite us." explains Nathalie Bondil.
Many of the mannequins used to display Gaultier's designs revolve to reveal all angles of an ensemble. Some circulate on a continuously moving catwalk, and many wear remarkable wigs and headdresses created by renowned hairstylist Odile Gilbert and her Atelier 68 team. Throughout the galleries, thirty-two of the mannequins come alive with interactive faces created by technologically ingenious high-definition audiovisual projections. A dozen celebrities, including Gaultier himself, model Ève Salvail, and bass player Melissa Auf der Maur, have lent their faces and their voices to this project. The production and staging of this dynamic audiovisual element is the work of Denis Marleau and Stéphanie Jasmin of UBU/Compagnie de création of Montreal. Jolicoeur International of Quebec realized all the custom-made mannequins with different skin tones and positions.
Distinctly different from traditional couture, Gaultier's avant-garde designs demonstrate a deep understanding of the issues and preoccupations of today's multicultural society. For inspiration, he has turned to a variety of cultures and countercultures. The show is organized into seven thematic sections: The Odyssey, The Boudoir, Muses, Punk Cancan, Skin Deep, Metropolis, and Urban Jungle.
The exhibition is accompanied by the first major monograph on the French designer, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Catwalk to the Sidewalk, published by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts under the direction of Thierry-Maxime Loriot. This award-winning, 424-page catalogue contains more than 550 illustrations and photographs; an introductory essay by Suzy Menkes, Fashion Editor of The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune; fifty exclusive interviews conducted by Loriot with celebrities and collaborators of the couturier (Helen Mirren, Nicole Kidman, Madonna, Catherine Deneuve, Martin Margiela, Dita Von Teese, and Marion Cotillard among others); and two interviews with Gaultier himself.
The exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with Maison Jean Paul Gaultier. The curator of the exhibition is MMFA's Thierry-Maxime Loriot.
The Brooklyn Museum presentation is coordinated by Lisa Small, Curator of Exhibitions, Brooklyn Museum.
Generous support for the exhibition in Brooklyn is provided by Lexus. Additional support provided by Beauté Prestige International and The Wall Street Journal. W Magazine is print media sponsor.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, June 17-October 2, 2011
Dallas Museum of Art, November 13, 2011-February 12, 2012
De Young Museum, San Francisco, March 24-August 19, 2012
The Fundación Mapfre-Instituto de Cultura, Madrid, October 6, 2012-January 6, 2013
Kunsthal Rotterdam, the Netherlands, February 9, 2013-May 12, 2013
Swedish Center for Architecture and Design, Stockholm, June 17-Sept. 22, 2013
Brooklyn Museum, October 25, 2013-February 23, 2014
Barbican Art Galleries, London, April 9-August 17, 2014