Yesterday was a special treat… the Marketing department here at Boyd (all three of us) went to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young Museum. It was an incredible experience…
Images and videos of Gaultier’s designs lead you to the entrance of the exhibit, where you are welcomed by a note written on the wall from JPG himself welcoming the people of San Francisco to his exhibit. I thought it was a nice personal touch that made him feel very real… like an old friend – rather than this untouchable fashion icon (which is actually the case).
As you enter the exhibit you’re greeted by “models”; which are, in actuality, mannequins with video of real faces projected onto the empty face of the figures. It was a little disconcerting at times – as the eyes of some of these mannequins would seem to stare right at you and follow you (it might be my imagination, but some of the mannequins seemed to look down on us all haughty like). I really liked the Gaultier mannequin… his was speaking, feeding you bits of information on himself. He has a heavy French accent, which he brings attention to by saying “you may not understand me, but you will understand me through my clothes”. As you progress through this exhibit you start to see the many layers of this complex man… and begin to understand him (if only a little).
The vision, creativity, craftsmanship and materials completely blew my mind. Some of the pieces were labeled with the number of hours it took to produce it (like this gorgeous hand beaded cheetah gown, which took 1009 hours to make).
As for us lighting/marketing folks – there was plenty of inspiration for us to glean from this show. And it was great to find some correlation (as small as it may be) between the fantastical art of Jean Paul Gaultier and Boyd’s light fixtures. Like the use of shagreen… Gaultier used it to make cat suits, skirts, shoes and jackets… and Boyd has used it on our recently released Topanga I & II wall sconces designed by Jaime Drake.
We also have a couple fixtures in the works that were brought to mind while at this exhibit. We have a pendant that has a working title of the “Cancan” because it reminded us of a cancan dancer pulling up her dress. And Gaultier’s mace handbag looks like a prototype fixture we’re calling the “Pollen Pod”.
We literally walked through this exhibit in complete awe constantly grabbing at each other saying things like “Oh my God, look at this!” or “You have to read about this one!” or “If a guy wearing that asked you out, would you say yes?” or “I’ve decided I’m going to get married in Russia, during the winter, wearing this dress”…
Somehow room after room of serious fashion managed to bring out the child in us. It was great fun, and something I want to see again!
**Overheard at the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit: “Wow – this guy really likes stripes!”**