The De Young in San Francisco has staged a ground-breaking multimedia exhibit featuring 140 of John Paul Gaultier’s haute couture designs.  With a career spanning more than forty years, the context of Gaultier’s work is often gritty and controversial although the superb craftsmanship and detail ensure the work is always beautiful.  Known in popular culture for his work with Madonna in the 90s and his costume design on The Fifth Element and City of Lost Children, Gaultier’s work transcends high fashion into fine art.  Working in collaboration with Montreal-based theater company Ubu Compagnie de Creation, the exhibit includes 30 animated mannequins who talk, sing, and blink in an eerily lifelike way.  The exhibit runs through August 19th.

An animated mannequin.

A wedding gown.

Beaded dress that took 1002 hours to complete.

For more information on the exhibit, visit the De Young website.

-Jayme Catalano