When I say “cone bra”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Probably iconic images of Madonna in the 90s from the Blond Ambition era, am I right? But do you know about the man behind the pointy boob trap? The avant garde designer was featured recently in a Brooklyn Museum exhibit called The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.
Monsieur Gaultier himself told me, via a mannequin with his talking face projected on it, that his early exposure to the corset was from his grandmother. She told him tales of how the ladies used to drink vinegar in order to contract their stomachs. Then, at precisely the right moment, they would cinch the laces to create as tiny of a waist as possible. Ouchie.
Unapologetically provocative, JPG noted that he was always interested in “different types of beauty”. Strolling past the collections on display, I doubt anyone could argue with that. He mixed extremes with aplomb and approached taboo imagery with apparent ease. Make no mistake in thinking that he was only focused on the shock and awe factor. Keeping a keen eye on technical mastery, some of the fabrication time on his pieces ranged from 150 to over 300 hours.
While Jean Paul Gaultier’s creations may not necessarily sync up with my own personal aesthetic (I’m just not that cool), I can appreciate his flair for the unexpected and love of pageantry, including an intricate gold sequined jumpsuit that Beyonce wore to the 2008 Fashion Rocks show. And everyone knows that I want to be 'Yonce when I grow up!