Sidewalks and Catwalks ~ Haute French Couture

Since this is the first of October, and the season for exotic costumes, I thought I would share my photographs from a fabulous exhibit I saw at the De Young Museum in San Francisco earlier this year.

From The Sidewalk to The Catwalk ~ a stunning exhibition of works of fashion art by Jean Paul Gaultier.

Whether a fan of his design style or not, one has to have a deep appreciation of the amount of detail that he puts into each unique piece and the superb quality of materials he uses throughout his collections.

The exhibit began with a street scene of his iconic nautical stripes.

The mannequins were styled in such a way that they were almost life like.  Technology at its best created animated faces and a dialogue from Jean Paul himself, who while introducing the show to us kept staring at certain people in the gallery.

Throughout the show, the models were making eye contact with us, winking at us, watching us was supernatural.

The ethereal angels were chanting as they gazed from the surreal heavens.

One spirit was beautifully adorned with the "Apparitions" gown and an "Angels in Heaven" veil.

From the "Virgins" collection, haute couture Spring & Summer 2007, this gown, print lace veil, embroidered bustier, silk bows, and silk tulle overskirt needed 200 hours to be created.

Over the top detail and gorgeous lace.

This mermaid was struggling a bit as she emerged from the deep sea...

in her "La Mariee" Wedding Gown.

This  latex body suit has gold scales, a cone bra with shells, a sequin embroidered latex skirt, and rubber crutches with a coral motif. 

The beaded, pearl, and shell encrusted hand bag is just what every glamorous girl needs as her "go to" accessory.

This "Sirene-reine" Gown is from the Mermaids collection, haute couture Spring & Summer 2008.

One hundred eighty hours were needed to create this piece, which is made from woven silk and metallic thread, with pierced scales overlapping at the bust and hips.

His "throne"

...and portrait.

Throughout the show I was in awe of the exquisite tailoring.

One of my favorite pieces {below} is this soft silk tulle, organza body suit, and velvet sash.  This is part of his "Boudoir Collection."

Below is a silk corset with train...perhaps to wear under a wedding gown...or not.

Bondage inspired creations with pearls, crystals, chains, and gems...

velvet, feathers, satin, silk...

leather, and lace.

We were notified at the entrance of the exhibit that...

...and were not disappointed.  {Although I think some of the older San Francisco ladies may have been a bit shocked to actually see some of this.}

The Catwalks and the Sidewalks were fantastic and if this exhibit is shown anywhere near your hometown, treat yourself to some avant~garde French haute couture and spend an afternoon seeing this show.

Hope you enjoyed your free admission to this haute exhibit!

Ciao amici,