In March, 2012 I decided to re-visit to San Francisco not very long after my first time, to visit two exhibitions within a two-week window period where they overlapped: Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal’s Courts at the Asian Art Museum and The Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk at the DeYoung Museum.
I remember learning about Jean-Paul Gaultier on MTV’s House of Style back in the early 1990s. I was fascinated and confused, when I saw the male skirts he debuted. For the first time I was challenged to thing about how gender defines clothing, and vice versa. I also remember when he debuted his frangrances. Although I disliked the scent, I love the bottle, and the ad campaigns.
I couldn’t help myself from comparing it to the Alexander McQueen retrospective back in July, 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The exhibition halls were packed to the gills with all things JPG spanning his long career. The mood was whimsical, campy, fun, and nostalgic, versus the somber darkness that permeated the halls at the McQueen exhibition. And also unlike McQueen, photography was allowed; I even felt like it was encouraged.