I don’t know about you but when I think of fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, visions of Madonna prancing around stage in a cone-shaped bra come to mind. However, after seeing his exhibit at the de Young Museum, I have a much broader appreciation of his incredible talent.

I’ve included some photos of my favorite pieces, but the one thing they don’t convey is the multimedia experience. Right when you walk into the exhibit you are hit with a cacophony of voices. For a split second I actually thought there were live models talking. Then I realized projectors overhead were discreetly projecting video of each model onto mannequins custom molded to their individual faces. It was so captivating that it almost overshadowed the fashion… until I got up close and could appreciate the amazing detail that transformed each piece into a true work of art.

animated mannequin

mermaid gown

parrot feather bolero

knit gown

pleated pant suit

dotted dress & head-to-toe houndstooth

The exhibit runs through August 19 at the de Young. No special tickets are needed, but I highly recommend going during the week if possible because it gets really crowded on the weekends. And yes, Madonna’s cone-shaped corset is there.