DMA: John Paul Gaultier

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Remember when you were little and you had big dreams? Were you lucky enough to have parents to give you the supplies you needed to live out those dreams? As you know, I spent my summers with my grandmother and the sound of her sewing machine humming is what would lull me to sleep during naptime. When I was Mari's age now, she handed me a large plastic needle and yarn. She told me once I was able to do that, then she'd give me something to sew.  When I mastered that, I was given an actual needle and embroidery thread. I was then instructed to hand sew a straight stitch, then different patterns. I had to prove my mastery at hand sewing before I was allowed to use the machine. I never threaded her machine. I did re-arrange all of her threads for her, categorizing them according to the color of the rainbow, then sorting them my individual color underneath. My job was to also help her with patterns. Cutting them out, laying them flat, pinning them for her, and then later folding them up without tearing and tucking them nicely back into the bag.

I drew many designs for my dolls. I drew clothes of what I wanted to wear when I was older. When I was 7, as a Christmas gift, I received from Santa this fashion template set. You could put down the template and "build" a wardrobe from basic pieces. You'd place a piece of paper over the template, run your large charcoal or crayon over it, and then your image would appear. You could then color it however you wanted. This was a nice "cheater" way of creating clothing, but I wasn't interested in textile design, but the actual design of apparel. By the time I was 8, I was happy to go to the grocery store with my mother just so I could delicately flip the pages of Vogue. We never purchased a copy. When we would go to the library, I would obsess over the clothing in the magazine articles. The advent of MTV and the supermodel had me fixated with all things Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington. They just knew how to wear clothes! I idolized fashion designers like some kids idolized sports figures. I cried the day Gianni Versace was killed. You see, fashion designers aren't the sort of people that you actually get to meet. It isn't like they are out and about at events where you can rub shoulders with them. Well, not at events for normal sort of folk. I had fashion week, and whatever coverage my cable news channel afforded. I would get seriously pissed if my father changed the channel when I was watching runway. Even if it was for a brief second coverage, I'd say, "No Daddy, go back!" I wanted to see the clothes. I HAD TO SEE THEM. I'll be the first to admit that I dated a handful of boys that were completely wrong for me, but boy could they wear the heck out of clothes! They knew how to dress and well, that was VERY important to me.

And then I grew up, chose a different path, and that part of me sat dormant.

I became a mother and my eldest started to play with Barbies. She asked for clothes for her Barbies. I started designing again. And I drew, and I drew, and I still draw. I've only constructed two pieces. I've been playing around with making her clothes too. In my spare time, you know. Then the Dallas Museum of Art brought Jean Paul Gaultier to Dallas. My jaw hit the floor and I was excited. I asked to go at some point during the exhibit. It closes next week on the 12th. Don, remembering my request, loaded up the girls and off we went to the DMA. I was beyond excited. At the front of the exhibit, you see the sailor stripes as I came to be familiar with him. How ever is it that I don't immediately associate him with the cone bras? ha ha

We went through each room. I read about each outfit. I appreciated the hours into the craftsmanship. Even Don was impressed! We were further treated when we saw the actual costume Chris Tucker wore in the 5th Element. Don said, that looks familiar. I thought, yes, it looks like something Nikki Minaj might have worn. Then I remembered, duh, Don wouldn't know that. I glanced at the sign and we saw 5th Element and told him. He nodded his head and was impressed. He also like many of the men's stylings that were shown. I admired every single detail. Each stitch, each bead, each feather...all of it. The sheer patience involved. I do believe motherhood has given me that patience.

Tesla was enamored with all of the people and seemed intrigued by the clothes. Mari wanted to walk around and touch everything and was more than discontent when I forced her to sit in the stroller the entire time. One time she escaped and was perched on a shelf with no display. She was just sitting there bored. The attendant immediately went up to her and told her that she couldn't be there. We received quite a few looks, actually, for having our children there. Only a handful of them were haughty. The rest seemed like they were happy to have them there. It was hard. I wanted to touch the pretty fabrics, too!

Oh my goodness, the accessories. All of the hats/headdresses, the shoes, the stockings/socks/gloves, purses, they were outstanding! It was so nice to see them up close and be able to gawk and stare at them for as long as I wanted. I found Mari stealing glances at the colorful socks. I left inspired, happy, and appreciative. My Sugarbean, she wasn't so much thrilled about it. I asked her what she thought of it and this is what she did. She is probably being shy, but I like to think that she wanted the focus to be on her clothes. ha ha

There are portions of the exhibit that could be construed as risque, so younger audiences need to be warned. I wasn't concerned because my child has seen me naked and knows what a nude adult female body looks like. And that was the extent of the nudity. She was unaware of the one sexually posed exhibit. A female mannequin had put a saddle on the male mannequin and was riding it. She was too distracted by many other things than to notice the more "revealing" clothing on a mannequin.

At the end of the night, she learned that "eye-candy" meant something that was pleasing to her eye and not real candy to shove in her eyes. ha ha

If you are local and appreciate clothes, then you should go check it out. I hope to sneak away one lunch hour next week and see it before it goes.

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