In the Arts: Jean Paul Gaultier x WSJ Magazine

After stops from Madrid to San Francisco, the highly talked-about Jean Paul Gaultier retrospective, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, has finally made its East Coast debut at the Brooklyn Museum. In honor of the occasion, WSJ magazine hosted a special evening for the Parisian designer, who was on hand to discuss his iconic career and avant-garde point of view.

Exhibit curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot (left) and Jean Paul Gaultier joined WSJ magazine editor-in-chief Kristina O’Neill for an intimate panel discussion about their inspiration for the exhibition.

“I think our role as designers is not to make abstract [things]. We are not artists, or the type of artists to be in a museum,” said Gaultier, 61, laughing with the packed room of fashion influencers. “We are supposed to make clothes that will be worn by people, [yet] I always knew I could say things through the clothes.”

Gaultier became a household name thanks to his cone-bra design for Madonna’s 1990 Blond Ambition tour. Visitors to the museum will see images of that iconic partnership, along with more co-designed costumes from Madonna’s 2006 Confessions and 2012 MDNA tours.

In 1997, Gaultier presented his first couture collection, injecting new ideas into pattern mixing.

Thierry-Maxime Loriot spent a year planning for the Brooklyn exhibition, four months overseeing the construction of the space and three weeks installing 140 Gaultier haute couture and prêt-à-porter ensembles, sketches, photographs and films that offer a snapshot of a career spanning four decades.

Talking mannequins come alive through projected holograms to interact with visitors, giving the exhibit a unique multimedia element.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk will be at the Brooklyn Museum from now until February 23.

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Qianna Smith
Photos courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

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