Gaultier Exhibit Makes for a Fashionable Dallas Destination

I recently visited my hometown of Dallas, TX for a self-designed fashion weekend. I’m from Dallas, but currently reside in Deep South Texas. While South Texas does have much to offer its residents, exciting fashion is not really one of them. The launch of Versace at H&M was the true motivating factor of my trip. I’ve recently found myself intrigued and lured by these pop-culture type fashion events, where high-end fashion houses make their designs more available to us cheap fashion slaves.

What turned it into a fashion “weekend” was the fact that the Dallas Museum of Art had just opened the “Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From Catwalk to Sidewalk” exhibit. Dallas is the exhibit’s first of two U.S. stops, and it is a must see. Even though I did score some nice Versace pieces, taking a walk through the fashion world of Gaultier was the best part of my Dallas fashion weekend.

The exhibit is wide-ranging and includes over 100 ensembles. Mannequins topped with Stetson cowboy hats and donned in designs styled especially for the Dallas opening greet us upon entering the exhibit. (It should be interesting to see what the designer offers at the exhibit’s San Francisco stop.)

Inside, patrons pass through differently themed rooms, each depicting a particular aspect of Gaultier’s various collections and visions. For example, the Boudoir features Gaultier’s lingerie-inspired garments, including the unforgettable coned bras and corsets worn by and designed for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition Tour.

Another room features a small version of a runway, complete with little chairs for front-row viewing. Designs make their way down the runway and turn, similar to the “finale” of a runway show. In the same room, Gaultier’s punk-inspired designs line a wall, and the exhibit’s title becomes literal, as viewers can see how the haute couture designer also created very wearable, functional clothes.

The exhibit includes many little surprises in the display of the garments, and it may try to do a little too much. There is a lot of fashion to admire, which can be hard to take in with crowds. It must be hard, however, to pick pieces from a designer whose influence on fashion, music, film and pop culture spans three decade.

Next time, I’ll just wear different shoes, because I will be making another stop by the DMA for this one. It’s not too often one can get this close to haute couture, and once you are this close to it, the true art of fashion is undeniable. Gaultier’s pieces have amazing lines and are impeccably crafted. The show does an excellent job of portraying and communicating Gaultier’s vision and point of view. It is a fun and sexy exhibit, bringing out both the beautiful and bizarre fashion world of Gaultier.

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