jean paul gaultier — the low-down on taking the littles…

{Image via Les Vierges collection, Apparitions dress, Haute couture, spring/summer 2007, copyright P. Stable/Jean Paul Gaultier from the DMA Educator Blog}

Friends, words can’t describe how over-the-top amazing the Gaultier show at the DMA is.  (Lucia should probably be writing this post…she would have the words.  She’s good that one.) The clothing is of course mind-blowing, but equally impressive was the exhibit space itself…  The museum got it right.  It’s a visual feast on every level.

There are pieces that I’m dying for the girls to see — pearl encrusted mermaids, exquisite feathered creations — but there’s also a lot that is decidedly too mature for them.  So I’ve been noodling all week-end over my approach for taking them to see it.

The exhibition is divided into six different galleries as follows (per the DMA Educator Blog):

  • The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier, which is an introduction to Gaultier using three of his favorite motifs: sailors, mermaids, and virgins.
  • The Boudoir, which explores Gaultier’s reinterpretation of corsets and lingerie for the modern woman’s wardrobe.
  • Skin Deep, which celebrates how skin (our first garment) and its various types of decoration have inspired Gaultier. This section is also devoted to Gaultier’s take on male fashion, including his men’s skirts.
  • Punk Cancan, which reflects the influence of Paris and London on Gaultier’s designs.
    Metropolis, which explores the worlds of technology and science fiction. This section of the exhibition also includes Gaultier’s collaborations with artists in the fields of film and dance.
  • Urban Jungle, which demonstrates the influence of world cultures and peoples in the fashions of Jean Paul Gaultier.

Most of what I feel is appropriate for my girls (they are five and eight respectively) reside in the first and last galleries — The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier and Urban Jungle.  So my plan is to enter the exhibit through the first room, let them ogle the mermaids and such and then go back out, completely avoiding “The Boudoir“.  Then I’ll ask the guard if we can enter the last room through the exhibit gift shop (basically we’ll enter through the exit) so they can see The Urban Jungle room. 

That’s my strategy, but I’d strongly suggest you go for yourself to take in the amazingness and plan accordingly from there.  Trust me, it will blow your mind… Enjoy!


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