The Man Behind the Cone Bra: Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit at the DeYoung Museum

On a sunny San Francisco Sunday, Grant, Kate, JP and I took advantage of the VIP tickets we got courtesy of SF Travel to go to the DeYoung Museum for their much-hyped Gaultier exhibit. With our special passes we got to cut the line that coiled around the lobby but our VIP status did not excuse us from getting scolded when we started taking video.

The Gaultier exhibit follows in the footsteps of the wildly popular fashion-inspired museum shows including last year's Balenciaga exhibit also at the DeYoung and the Alexander McQueen retrospective at New York's MOMA.

Oh come on, infants can handle a little exposed nipple play.

Jean Paul himself came to San Francisco for the exhibit opening. The famed designer also swung by the Castro Theater for the premiere of the Al Pacino film on Oscar Wilde and rumor has it that Gaultier also spent a late night at dungy manbar, The Powerhouse.

Overhead projections made it seem as if the mannequins' faces had life of their own, mouths moving and eyes blinking in eery synchronization.

Gaultier's obsessed with mermaids. One of my favorite Gaultier moments is when he sent a model down the runway in a mermaid-inspired outfit similar to the one photographed above. Instead of strutting like a traditional model walk, Gaultier's mermaid made it down the runway in crutches! Which I think is just utterly brilliant. Gaultier has an inimitable rock star quality to him and his work that I just love.

Gaultier has also become a part of the pop culture conversation. From the Madonna collaborations to hosting the MTV European Awards to designing the horrifically futuristic costumes in The Fifth Element, Gaultier has certainly made his impression.

The Madonna/Cone Bra Era.

Sorry Rihanna and Gaga, but Madonna (guided by Gaultier) was straddling fetish S&M when you were still in overalls.

BOY TOYS TALK BACK: What do you think of museum exhibits created around fashion designers? Legitimate works of art or designed to make museums more like theme parks?