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.
He offers wedding style,
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.