It’s hard to believe we’re about to say goodbye to the spectacular Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition. A visit to Gaultier’s world offered the best kind of sensory overload: one emerged feeling inspired by the designer’s incredible capacity for innovation and his joy in the creative process, as well as by fashion’s ability to reflect and inspire social change, and express and celebrate identity.
Visitors often asked me which piece was my favorite, a question I found impossible to answer faced with such an array of rich materials, vibrant colors, and iconic silhouettes. Was it the elegant gown trimmed with sailor striped feathers? The sheath dress printed with a life-size photographic likeness of a nude female body? The exquisitely tailored crocodile jacket? One of his amazing corsets? Maybe it was the body suit embellished with a red sequined map of the circulatory system, perfectly accessorized with a heart-shaped purse.
In the end I think I’ll go with these fantastic fur-lined Eiffel Tower heels, which exemplify Gaultier’s irreverent humor and his love affair with Paris. If you missed them, you can see them again this fall as part of our next fashion exhibition: Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe.
Posted by Lisa Small.
Image: Jean Paul Gaultier, “Eiffel Tower Pump,” Fall/Winter 2000-2001
Photographed for the Brooklyn Museum by Jay Zukerkorn