Fashion as Art: The Gaultier Exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art

Written By: Allison Hibbs


He was responsible for Madonna’s cone bras.
He created the wild outfits used in the wacky future-fiction movie, “The Fifth Element.”
He made bondage chic and brought the British punk rock look of the early eighties to the world’s most exclusive runways.
Even if you don’t know the name Jean Paul Gaultier, you almost certainly know the man.

“The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” enthusiastically acclaimed exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art, is scheduled to close next weekend on Feb.12, so you’ve got one last chance to get to know him a little better. From the shockingly sexy Boudoir collection to his fascinating use of industrial materials in the Metropolitan room, this is an exhibit not to miss.

“I’m not such a good speaker,” says the voice of Gaultier himself upon entering the exhibit, his talking face projected onto a mannequin dressed in a sailor ensemble (that he designed for himself to wear in an interview with pop superstar Lady Gaga). He communicates best through his clothing, he tells his visitors. And it’s true. One can only stand there and listen for a short while before being drawn away into the changing landscapes and attitudes of his apparel. The exhibit is set up in six distinct sections, yet certain ideas – like his fascination with S&M – carry through his work like a refrain.

“I respect individualities and I like particularities,” reads a quote attributed to the designer on the wall in the Urban Jungle room. “I mix and match, collect, twist and crossbreed codes. Past, present, here, elsewhere, masculine, feminine, remarkable, humdrum – it all coexists.” A delicate Spanish dress cut through with bondage leather; a pink floating ball gown with the crotch cut out; a full tulle skirt in camouflage coloring next to a glittering plaid mens’ kilt; Gaultier has a knack for making the scandalous seem sumptuous, for turning the gutter into glamour and for creating couture from the least likely corners of human experience.

Alongside the fabulous fabrics and intriguing ensembles worn by talking mannequins are actual sketches by Gaultier, rare prints on loan from renowned photographers and glowing quotes from contemporaries such as Pierre Cardin and Pedro Almodóvar. Scenes from movies for which he designed costumes play on variously sized screens throughout the rooms. Even the designer’s well-worn childhood teddy bear is on display, wearing – you guessed it – a cone bra. He designed it when he was only seven years old.

Everyone who makes it to see this truly extraordinary exhibit is sure to find at least a few favorites. From the Madonna to the mermaid (and that’s just the first room!), Gaultier manages to pay homage to kink, heritage, culture, counterculture, flora, fauna and fantasy all with a sense of openness, possibility and joy.

After Feb. 12, the collection will travel to San Francisco and then on to Europe.

Gaultier at DMA

Several ensembles and images shown in the exhibit. Photograph by Paolo Roversi.

New York City Prepares for Gigantic New Year’s Eve Party

Time's Square New Year's Eve

Time's Square New Year's Eve

Written by: Anatole Ashraf


New York City is expected to host an estimated one million people in Times Square on the New Year’s Eve ball drop for the biggest party night of the year. Record-breaking numbers of crowds are anticipated to gather for a star-studded lineup for entertainers, including Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

The party—which officially starts at 3 p.m.—will mark the culmination of days of police preparation. In an interview with NY1, Police Commissioner Ray Kelley detailed the process of securing the Times Square area.

“The manholes have all been sealed, the mailboxes have been removed, observation posts have been at least established or identified as the ones that are gonna be occupied, there’ll be several thousand police officers, not only here, but there are other events as well that are going on at the same time,” Kelley said.

As part of the heightened security measures, police officers will be barricading off the area from 41st to 58th Streets between Sixth and Eighth Avenues between 3 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Jan. 1. Visitors are warned not to bring any alcohol, large bags or backpacks. Anyone who leaves their spot for any reason will not be allowed back in after 3 p.m.

Most visitors are expected to be tourists. According to a NY1 poll, 97 percent of New Yorkers admitted to not being interested in attending the Times Square celebration. To accommodate local and native New Yorkers, many restaurants and clubs are offering memorable experiences.

Some of the finest restaurants in the city such as Daniel and Per Se are offering New Year’s Eve packages. On his blog the Price Hike, food critic Ryan Sutton has compiled a list of the “Real Cost of New Year’s Eve Dining,” which tracks the often-inflated cost of New Year’s Eve meals after tax and tip for two. Per Se, for example, $1,633 after tax and tip for New Year’s Eve, while regularly a meal will cost $642 for two. Sutton called these markups “an intangible emotional play: you’re paying more because you and your significant other don’t want to be alone when the clock strikes midnight.”

For a more affordable celebration, various bars and restaurants are offering events with no cover charge. The popular Brooklyn destination Huckleberry Bar, for example, is hosting a masquerade ball with free hors d’oeuvres and complimentary champagne toasts at midnight.

Ultimately, celebration options are plenty and varied for almost all New Yorkers and tourists on New Year’s Eve 2012.

Lady Gaga Makes Pop Art A Musical Genre


Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga appears twice on Nielsen SoundScan‘s list of the top ten best-selling singles of the past decade: “Just Dance” came in second place with 4.6 million copies, and “Poker Face” moved a respectable 4.2 million units. Sure, her form of music is absolutely popular, but, what is Pop Art, and could it be considered creative marketing?

Andy Warhol had his start in New York City, where he became a successful advertisement illustrator; eventually, he would introduce the West Coast to popular art through his paintings of celebrities both living and inanimate. Drawings of Marilyn Monroe and Mohammad Ali were scattered among the other works, which focused on the trademark soup cans and soda bottles of such behemoth corporations as Coca Cola and Campbell’s. Thus began the blurring of a line between commercialism  and creationism (as in, all art is a intelligent design).


Green Coke Bottles by Andy Warhol

Why should anyone care to call an advertisement a piece of art? Does Pop Art show emotion to the masses, do a hundred soup cans share a story? Pop art renders the artist a commercial,  and at the end of the day, products are sold; not ideas, not concepts, but products.

Stephanie — Lady Gaga — is adored for her style, which has effectively persuaded millions that gimmicky creativity is a form of artistic endeavor. As an artist, she produces music intended to be widely accepted. The genre doesn’t indicate anything other than that. Lady Gaga makes jingles that sell mix drinks and VIP passes, while Andy Warhol persuaded people to pay thousands of dollars for corporate advertisements.

Lady Gaga, All Dressed Up

lady gaga

Lady Gaga, born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is more than the fantastical outfits she wears on stage.  The 23 year old musician has been on quite a ride, so much so, that at her young age…she has enough material to write a biography!  Lady Gaga’s, soon to be published book, highlights her road to celebrity.

The drugs (she claims to have spent years consuming, in her words, bags and bags of cocaine), the sex ( Gaga is a self-proclaimed bisexual), and the rock-n-roll, have apparently led Stefani down a crooked, yet successful path.  The Brit’s just love her, and Gaga seems to be gaining popularity, rapidly in the states.

Broadening her popularity and notoriety, Gaga teamed up with Cyndi Lauper, for an ad campaign put on by M.A.C, to fight Aids.  The two ladies are from different generations, but both share a passion for spreading awareness of this devastating disease.

After her tour winds down, Lady Gaga plans to collaborate, in the studio, with long-time mentor, Britney Spears, and recently recorded with, super-star, Beyonce.  Hooking up with these powerful forces can’t be a bad thing for a girl’s career.

Drawing inspiration from musicians such as David Bowie, Madonna, and Freddy Mercury has proved to be a smart move for Lady Gaga.  With 6 Emmy Award nominations under her belt, the little girl from the upper east side appears to have made it big.

Lady Gaga may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but one thing is for certain…she’s found her niche!