I went to see the Jean Paul Gaultier From Sidewalk to Catwalk exhibit at de Young Museum in Golden Gate park; beforehand I didn’t know much about JPG except that he was the designer behind those odd torso perfume bottles sold in cans and Madonna’s pointy cone bra. It was one of those occasions where people who truly understand fashion (or pretend to) would say it was a deeply moving religious fashion experience. As someone who enjoys fashion but doesn’t buy into the whole “fashion is my religion and Channel is the high priest” movement I found the exhibit to be wildly entertaining. JPG is a creative genius—no question about this. Each piece was mind-bloggling, took hundreds of hours to construct and completely original. You never wagged your finger and thought: “Naughty, naughty, naughty! That piece is a little reminiscent of one in Stella McCartney’s resort collection.” His inventiveness was the luminescence around what felt at times like a creatively dark exhibit (there were some Shades of Gray dominatrix type set ups—see below). After viewing pieces like the white tribal wedding gown, which only a betrothed goddess of a Mayan temple would wear (below), you can understand exactly why his pieces are adored and worn by celebrities like Lady Gaga and Madonna. On a more interesting note, some of the mannequins in the exhibit blinked, peered around, sang and were better at fluttering their eyelashes than I am. Speaky! (Spectacular and freaky.) Lastly, let us talk about the lip smackingly delicious museum food at de Young Museum cafe. Who needs exhibits when you can make a beeline for the café and get slow roasted porchetta tartine, gruyere cheese, dijon, pear chutney, arugula and shaved fennel for $12 bucks?
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