Maggie Rizer may be a native New Yorker, but ever since moving to San Francisco in September of 2011 she’s taken on the Bay Area scene full throttle. Along with frequenting the Marina’s local hangouts like Chrissy Field and cheering on The Giants, Maggie attends all of the city’s most notable galas and benefits where she brings her New York chic to San Francisco’s yoga-centric streets. She most recently went to the opening of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the De Young museum, where we had her blog her review. Here’s what this San Francisco newbie has to say about a fashion icon coming to the Golden Gate.
It’s obvious that New York is synonymous with pretty much everything cool. Well, New Yorkers…not in this case. San Francisco has wine country, The Giants, The America’s Cup and now…we have Gaultier. A few weeks ago, San Francisco was fortunate enough to welcome the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit to the De Young Museum. From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. It certainly doesn’t get much better then that.
As a San Francisco transplant from New York I can say with pride that I’m a snob as far as fashion is concerned. Gaultier at the De Young does not disappoint. From the moment you enter the exhibit fashion at it’s finest is there to greet you. Life sized photos of two of Jean Paul Gaultiers’ favorite models Erin O’Connor and Jade Parfitt, practically jump off the walls, clad head to toe in his designs. The talking mannequin heads in the front room are equally amusing, breathtaking and astonishing (I had to see the video projectors to be sure they weren’t real!). Even Gaultier himself has a mannequin double who speaks directly to the museum’s visitors, walking them through his work of the past 36 years.
The exhibit leads it’s way throughout rooms filled with some of the most gorgeous gowns the world has ever seen. Gowns that have become frozen in time by the fashion industry’s top photographers, models, and stylists. Many of these infamous photos line the walls of the De Young, hanging beside the famous dresses. It’s truly a sight to behold. Some of the gowns are displayed on a moving catwalk, some simply as museum displays and others on talking mannequins who are happily conversing amongst one another. It certainly lends itself to the idea that a model’s life is glamorous and full of gorgeous gowns, champagne, and the world gawking at your beauty.
Jean Paul was one of the very first designers who gave me a chance on his runway. Aside from being a design genius, I always thought of him as a funny, thoughtful, quirky, and kind man whom I will forever admire and respect.
So, of you’re in San Francisco and looking for a taste of heaven, head to the De Young; it will not disappoint! Congratulations to Jean Paul and everyone at the Gaultier team! —Maggie Rizer