In need of a creative field trip, I visited the De Young Museum in San Francisco to see the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit.  Mr. Gaultier is a French haute couture designer who most famously designed the cone brassiere Madonna wore in her Blonde Ambition tour twenty plus years ago.

The exhibit was an eye-opening experience for me.  Gaultier’s  designs are exquisitely crafted and combine an imaginative mix of color, texture, and culture.

Life-like mannikins, including Mr. Gaultier’s doppelganger,  greet the visitor with blinking eyes, witticisms, and slightly buck-toothed smiles.  I stare at these creatures, enthralled with their eerily human qualities.

Gaultier’s visionary creations are brought to life through the mastery of hundreds of artisans.  Crocodile skin and impeccable crochet create a masterful jacket. Thousands of sequins, delicately stitched together, cascade into a train of color.  Intricate lace molds skin-like to a mannikin’s form.  A delicate  pattern covers her face like an African mask.  

Gaultier’s designs range from the hyper-sexualized to the elegantly chic, city woman.  

He offers wedding style,

and gains inspiration from the punk scene.

Gaultier surprises, delights, and inspires.  I go home with a keener insight into my own creative journey:  master the details and the technical aspects of your art;  remain open to cultural influences, whether local or world-wide;  do not self-censor; and keep your sense of humor.

Fashion – Jean Paul Gaultier, DeYoung Museum, San Francisco