Friday, March 23, 2012
The fashion world of Jean Paul Gaultier at the de Young
I could have done without the fawning, groveling tributes to Gaultier or the insistence that fashion is art and belongs in museums. One of the museum curators (or perhaps the woman from Montreal) was trying to claim that a Gaultier gown is the equivalent of a Van Gogh and that he personifies all the humanistic values.
What utter BS.
Gaultier turned out to be quite charming, probably sober, on his best behavior and regaling the press with stories of his grandmother and her corset and his teddy bear.
I did not find myself dazzled. I don't buy the statement that anybody can wear his clothes. Really? The old, the poor, the really fat?
I don't think so. It's a world of conspicuous consumption that is both expensive and transitory.
But if your taste is for outrageous flamboyance and vulgar display, the Gaultier is the designer for you. The show is packaged beautifully with unique mannequins that almost look like real people. The walls are painted black, the lighting is dim and there is some sort of music in the catwalk display. I didn't stay long because I preferred the beauty of the park and the fresh air to this, yet another, tribute to clothes that few of us can afford, much less wear.