Monday, August 6, 2012
Gaultier à San Francisco
We've been back in California for a month or so but hadn't gotten to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park until last weekend. Fashion exhibitions seem to be proliferating in museums the last few years, apparently because they bring in the visitors and pay for less 'popular' shows. Some are more interesting than others.
This one was pretty spectacular. Gaultier's work plays with gender roles and images, sexual provocation, multi-ethnic inclusion and in-your-face assaults on societal expectations, all displayed here.
The 'truc' was the holographic projection of living, speaking, moving faces on the mannikins, creepy and wonderful at the same time.
There were times when one simply could not believe that there wasn't a living person somehow hidden in there, eyes moving to wink at you, lips muttering at you. At the entry Gaultier himself was projected, speaking to the entering visitors, interrupting himself to say hello, seeming to notice people mocking his accent, all convincingly real.
It was nearly enough to take attention away from the equally spectacular clothes, some of which had signage noting the number of hours it had taken to produce, numbers in the multiple hundreds.
It's hard to imagine many people actually wearing most of these stunning clothes/costumes, but much of Gaultier's work is for film, video, music tours. This is not your mother's couture.
All appearances to the contrary, Naomi Campbell is not naked in this shot.
She's wearing this.
The crowds were milling around, chatting, pointing, discussing; if the museum had served drinks it would have been a great cocktail party. If you have a chance, see it before it closes on August 19.