“The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” opens October 25 at the Brooklyn Museum. Theatrical by design, the exhibition is as contemporary and innovative as the iconic couturier’s fashion designs.
Gaultier’s work is featured alongside mannequins parading down a moving catwalk, speaking and moving via audiovisual projections of celebrity faces and voices including the couturier’s own, and wearing elaborate wigs and headdresses by Odile Gilbert and Atelier 68.
Gaultier says of his work as a designer and of the exhibition, “I did this job to be loved, because I realized at a very young age that I can be loved through my work. And I hope that by seeing this exhibition you will love me a little bit more.”
Organized by theme into sections including Punk Cancan and Urban Jungle, the exhibition will feature works new to the show’s tour and never previously exhibited in New York, including stage costumes worn by Beyonce and Kylie Minogue, Madonna’s memorable corsets from the Blond Ambition World Tour in 1990, and the costumes from Luc Besson’s 1996 film The Fifth Element. Works from the couturier’s collaborations with notable artists and photographers including Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol, Mario Testino, and Herb Ritts will also be on view.
The exhibition was conceived by Nathalie Bondil, director and chief curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. “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,” says Bondil.
The Brooklyn Museum is the only venue hosting the exhibition on the east coast, and is the exhibition’s second-to-last stop before the tour concludes London next spring. The show has already traveled to Madrid, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Dallas, and San Francisco. Throughout the tour, the show has been produced by Bondil and curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot in collaboration with Maison Jean Paul Gaultier Paris.