When I announced late Friday that I was heading to New York City, everyone assumed that I was heading off to check out the presentations and runway shows at Lincoln Center. As you may know, New York City has been undersiege for the last couple of days by the fashion industry because of New York Fashion Week. I was, however, heading to New York City to see a fashion presentation of a different kind. The kind you see in museums, not in swanky hotel lobbys or tents.
My first stop was the Gaultier exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. I’ve seen fashion exhibits before, but this one was AH -MAY-ZING!!! I was impressed at the number of items, the fabrics and materials used (plastic, garbage bags, metal, fur, feathers, leather, hair, bullets) the installation, the interactive mannequins and of course, the designs themselves. Madonna’s iconic, cone bra and a gold metallic robot like bodysuit, similar to the one worn by Beyonce in her Sweet Dreams video is part of the installation.
Seeing Gaultier’s work up close really gave me a better appreciation for his creative genius. I especially loved his interpretation and designs that were influenced by various things and cultures including: Punk, Africans, Native Americans and Asians.
Viewing the exhibit also allowed me to learn more about the painstaking work, hours and details that goes into making each piece. For example, the camouflage, crinoline [Dubar Gown from his Romantic India Collection] fabric dress shown below took 312 man hours to complete.
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” runs through February 23rd at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, at Prospect Park; 718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org.
It was hard to leave the exhibit and the museum (they have a very impressive collection ) but I made my way to the 3 train (right next to the museum) and headed back to Manhattan to see Trend Ology and Elegance In an Age of Crisis (Fashions of the 1930’s) exhibits both at Museum at FIT.
Unfortunately, photography was not allowed so I can’t share any of the pieces that I saw on display. The one thing that I can say though is that fashion really has not changed that much (especially for men) over the years.
Trend Ology runs through April 30, 2014 and Elegance In an Age of Crisis (Fashions of the 1930’s) runs through April 19, 2014 at the Museum at FIT. Seventh Avenue at 27th Street. New York City; 212-217-4558
Travel Tip: This is a great day trip if you live in and around New York City. I took the Megabus ($28 roundtrip) from Hartford which stops on 7th Avenue, in front of FIT. A short walk past Madison Square Garden brought me to the 3 train subway stop which drops you right at the Brooklyn Museum.
Megabus was the most convenient option for me from Hartford, but I would NOT recommend taking the Megabus from New York City, especially during the colder months and especially if you have small children. Their current stop is behind the Jacob Javits center on 34th Street (about a block from the Hudson River). There is no shelter and the Megabus people are incredibly and unbelievable rude and illogical! If you must take Megabus out of New York City, plan your day accordingly and arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before the scheduled departure of your bus.
I took these photos!