Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

The Creepy Awesomeness of Talking Mannequins

Jean Paul Gaultier's retrospective of his 40-plus years of fashion design would have been breathtaking even without bizarre talking mannequins. Gaultier himself greeted guests to a press preview party of the exhibit, open at San Francisco's de Young Museum from March 24 through August 19.

Advertisement

But it was the mannequins—chatting, chanting, reciting poetry—that struck awe in the crowd, and not just because several were wearing the signature cone brassier that Gaultier famously fitted on Madonna during her 1990 Blond Ambition tour. Video projections cast faces onto the mannequins, which were created by Denis Marleau and Stephanie Jasmin of UBU Compagnie de Creation during the retrospective's first stop in Montreal last fall. The technology took the exhibit to another level, but it's not necessarily what drives the enfant terrible behind "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk."

As Gaultier told Refinery 29, he's not a techie dude:

I have an iPhone, but only to send texts. I don't like that if someone is phoning me, I will be disturbed. I cannot do two things at one time. I have no iPod...I'm too distracted. Now, images are everywhere and I love it, but there are almost too many images. When I watch TV, I can just keep zapping all the time! But I don't want to be that excited. Even the Internet. It's just non-stop. I like to think alone with my brain and not over-communicate.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Creepy Awesomeness of Talking Mannequins

So where do Gaultier's passions lie? Well, there's the cone bra, a motif seen throughout the exhibit. In fact, Gaultier has been making cone bras since he was six years old, starting with on for his teddy bear, Nana.

Illustration for article titled The Creepy Awesomeness of Talking Mannequins

After San Francisco, the show heads to the Fundación Mapfre - Instituto de Cultura, in Madrid, Spain, for September 26 through November 18, 2012. If you're in either city, pay a visit—the show is a must-see whether you're a fashion enthusiast or you just want to hear a mannequin belt out a Gregorian chant.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Creepy Awesomeness of Talking Mannequins
Illustration for article titled The Creepy Awesomeness of Talking Mannequins
Advertisement

Images: Kristen Philipkoski

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

geekymitch
geekymitch

Wow, second article today that I'm comparing to something disney worldish. They've had this in Buzz LIghtyear spaceranger spin for years, as well as the haunted mansion (the grim grinning ghosts as well as the floating crystal ball)