The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

Iconic fashion legend, Jean Paul Gaultier brought his inspiring designs to life in his debut international exhibition, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. The multimedia fashion experience is being held at the Brooklyn Museum from October 25 – February 23, 2014, and this is the only venue to host the exhibit on the East Coast.


The breathtaking pieces on display were inspired by beauty that surrounds us as well as the diversity of global cultures. The not-to-be-missed exhibit takes the viewer through seven influential themes spanning over Gaultier’s expansive career. Curated by Thierry-Maxime Loriot of the MMFA, coordinated by Lisa Small, and overseen by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in collaboration with Maison Jean Paul Gaultier, Paris, From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk includes over 140 haute couture and prêt-à-porter ensembles.

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Perhaps what was even more impressive than the pieces themselves, ranging from corsets, gowns, jackets, tops, mens skirts, sketches, stage costumes, excerpts from runway shows, films, concerts, dances, and documentaries, photographs, and accessories, was the level of interactivity that was evident throughout the exhibit. The custom-made mannequins that were created specifically for the Gaultier exhibit featured faces that are responsive to the viewer by utilizing high-definition audiovisual projections. It is truly where fashion meets technology.

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The themes spanned from the Victorian era, Madonna-inspired, 1990’s grunge, remnants of when he made his first splash on the scene in the 1970’s, and other awe-inspiring high-fashion concepts.

As one of the first openly gay fashion designers, Gaultier paved the way for others and designed with a such a purpose and passion that his avant-garde vision and voice that inspired social change, the fight for gender equality, and a putting a premium on focusing on cultural beauty.

I originally wrote this article for Fashion Edits, you can read it here.