The time it takes to get over the dizzying effect of the The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum will not stop you from wanting to go back and visit it again. Nothing can prepare you for it. When it hits you, just remain still; let your mind recoup and reconfigure life before and after. Yes, it really did happen.
When you first land on Gaultier’s planet, the arresting display of more than 140 haute couture and ready-to-wear pieces might initially overwhelm you; but do not be intimidated. Gaultier is, after all, a playful but pragmatic surrealist. In his universe, everyone belongs. “He was the first to bring everyone to the catwalk,” head curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot explained in an interview with The Genteel ahead of the exhibition’s opening weekend. “Whatever your age, your size, your colour or your gender […] everyone is welcome.”
The exhibit, first launched at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2011, encourages visitors to interact and fully experience the intention behind each design. Mannequins with animated faces greet you – smiling, winking and even singing opera – throughout the entire exhibition. At the entrance, in the vest of an animated mannequin, the respected designer is also there welcoming visitors to the Brooklyn Museum and giving them a personal breakdown of his many inspirations. READ MORE