The Boudoir reveals the designer's fascination with and transformation of lingerie. It features his trailblazing conical bras and corsets made for Madonna's 1990 Blonde Ambition World Tour.
Skin Deep illustrates that in Jean Paul Gaultier's hands, clothing becomes a second skin, sometimes through trompe-l'oeil effects that give the illusion of nudity, a flayed human body, or tattoos. This section of the exhibition is also devoted to the Gaultier take on the male sex, with examples of couture designs, including his famous skirts for men.
Punk Cancan illustrates the contrasting styles and themes Gaultier has blended throughout his career: the Parisian classicism and elegance in which he was born and lives, and the origin and development of the punk movement in London, which he discovered and embraced from its inception.
Urban Jungle serves up Jean Paul Gaultier multicultural style, based on the dress of Mongolians, Hussars, Hasidic Jews, Peruvians, and the Chinese, along with that of such iconic artists as Frida Kahlo. His unique haute couture craftsmanship, with its rich detailing and intricate techniques, takes center stage.
Metropolis ends the exhibition and showcases Jean Paul Gaultier's collaborations with filmmakers and performers. His relationships with singular pop icons like Tina Turner, Nirvana, and Kylie Minogue are spotlighted.
Stage costumes, videos of runway presentations, concerts, music videos, films, dance performances, and even iconic British television shows Eurotrash, which he hosted, as well as a cameo in Absolutely Fabulous, document the degree to which Jean Paul Gaultier designs address the prevailing society and aesthetic norms of their day. Among his artistic collaborations examined in depth are his longtime collaboration with Madonna.
Film and dance are other areas of focus. Jean Paul Gaultier's set costumes with film directors Pedro Almodovar, Peter Greenaway, and Luc Besson are examined. Clips of Almodovar's feature Kika and Besson's science fiction film The Fifth Element will be shown. Also included will be filmed excerpts from performances by contemporary dance icons with whom he has collaborated, such as Maurice Béjart, Angelin Preljocaj, and Régine Chopinot.
The exhibition is accompanied by the first major monograph on the French designer, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Catwalk to the Sidewalk, published by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts under the direction of Thierry-Maxime Loriot. This 424-page catalogue contains over 550 illustrations and photographs. It includes an interview with Valerie Steele, Director of New York's Museum of FIT, the Fashion Institute of Technology, as well as an essay by Suzy Menkes, Fashion Editor of The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune, that examines the enduring style of Jean Paul Gaultier. Also featured are 50 interviews, including two with Jean Paul Gaultier and others with artists and designers he has collaborated with, from Madonna to Pierre Cardin, and key film directors. The designer's mentors and colleagues are interviewed, along with his muses and those for whom he has created costumes, including Nicole Kidman, Catherine Deneuve, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Helen Mirren, Tom Ford, Dita Von Teese, Martin Margiela, and Boy George. Unpublished sketches, along with never before seen images by famed art and fashion photographers, can also be found in the catalogue.
The exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with Maison Jean Paul Gaultier. Jolicoeur International from Quebec, Canada realized all the custom-made mannequins with different skin tones and positions representing the diversity of Gaultier's runway shows. The originating curator of the exhibition is MMFA's Thierry-Maxime Loriot. The Brooklyn Museum presentation is coordinated by Lisa Small, Curator of Exhibitions, Brooklyn Museum.