For over 35 years, the enfant terrible of French fashion has commanded the runway with unconventional collections for women and men ranging in subjects from Dada to the Christo Effect, Chic Rabbis to Madonnas, and Tattoos to Trompe l'oeil. Incorporating a host of international cultural references, both high and low, familiar and taboo, Gaultier's vision continues to promote a strong social message that empowers women and men to embrace their sexuality and individuality.
Included among the new exhibition additions premiering in Dallas are a Kokekodo ensemble for men from JPG's Haute Couture F/W 2011-12 Black Swan collection; an American flag coat made from ostrich feathers; leather on tulle created for Kylie Minogue for her first American tour in 2009; and an eye-popping motorcycle suit with headlights costume designed for Pedro Almodovar's 1993 film Kika. These plus stunning stage outfits worn by Madonna are just a few of the 130 pieces for men and women spanning from 1976 to 2011 on view.
November is also the publication date for the 424-page exhibition catalogue (Abrams for the English edition), which features interviews with Gaultier friends, colleagues, and muses including Madonna, Catherine Deneuve, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Carine Roitfeld, Dita Von Teese, and Pedro Almodovar, among others.
In her review of the exhibition for The International Herald Tribune, Suzy Menkes wrote: "In every way, technically, artistically and aesthetically, the exhibition devoted to the iconoclastic French couturier is a triumph."
Describing the importance of hosting the U.S. debut, Kevin W. Tucker, the Margot B. Perot curator of decorative arts and design and coordinating curator of the exhibition at theDallas Museum of Art stated:
Jean Paul Gaultier's work transcends more restrictive definitions of 'fashion' to command attention as an exploration of his interests in popular culture, notions of exoticism, beauty, and the spectrum of visual and performing arts. He has an omnivorous passion for potential sources of inspiration to create remarkable designs which become transformative and expressive costumes for their wearers.