Meet Up: The Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit

Saturday, June 23rd

I come back from my morning run a little later than expected. I quickly shower, throw on my favorite maxi dress, and blow dry my hair. D is right on time to pick me up, and as I’m running out the door I grab my camera and a plum. Funny that I’ll later get in trouble for both of these impulses.

I navigate as D drives. We talk work and life and, of course, sewing. She’s wearing her Sure-Fit Designs pants, which makes me eager to get started on my dress kit. Before I know it, we’ve arrived in Golden Gate Park. We walk quickly to the de Young Museum, excited to meet up with other sewing enthusiasts at the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit.

We find Shams and sit down on some earthquake rocks to wait in the sun for the others. I pull out my plum and take a bite, relishing in the beauty of the day, the sweet tartness of the fruit, and the excitement of the event. My peaceful world is quickly interrupted as a museum guard comes running over yelling, “No food! No food!” I’m incredibly embarrassed as I have to walk the twenty feet to the perimeter of the museum to finish my plum.

Others slowly trickle in, and it is fun to see a few familiar faces from our last event in the city. But, many who arrive I’m meeting for the first time, including j.kaori. Our fearless leader, Beth of SunnyGal Studio Sewing, has managed to bring together 12+ sewing enthusiasts, two babies, and a husband. And, just like the last event, conversation and laughter came easily and often.

We enter the exhibit, and the first thing I notice is that the mannequins have faces.  They’re talking… and singing… and blinking…  and winking!  Right at me!  What?!  I know it’s not real, but is it?!

Then I can’t take my eyes off the work.

Stripes made with perfect strips.

Mermaids with individual scales.

Iconic corsetry made out of unbelievable materials.

Literal body suits.

A stunning beaded jungle cat dress.

An incredible diversity of design and detail.

I like getting to hear what those in our group like and dislike.  What little things they each notice.  How work like Gaultier’s can rivet and inspire, whether or not one is particularly fond of the style.

As we make our way through the last exhibit and into the gift shop, I start pointing my camera at those in our group.  I get off one really awkward shot before another museum guard is running at me.  “No cameras in the gift shop!”  I put my camera away, again embarrassed for catching the attention of the museum guards.  Though I likely can use my camera again after walking the five feet out of the gift shop, I put it away for the rest of the event.

We then spend the next three hours eating lunch, sharing stories, swapping favorite sewing blogs, and generally talking shop.  Seriously, three hours.  It goes by in the blink of an eye because these women are so amazing.  As we’re leaving, D briefly mentions taking advantage of the fabric shopping in the city, but my little sewing corner cannot handle any more fabric at the moment, so I push us on home.

Once back I find my husband napping in the sun with our cats.  I snuggle up with them and talk and talk and talk about how wonderful the exhibit was and how nice everyone in the group is.  A fabulous meet up like this one should happen often.  To those reading this post who were there (and others in the Bay Area), I vote for doing something again in early August.

22 thoughts on “Meet Up: The Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit

  1. It really was a lot of fun, wasn’t it? And I can’t believe how long we gabbed, but that was the best part. 🙂 Your pictures are amazing!! Mine are still in my cell phone. 😉 I’m up for August!

  2. Great pictures! I saw the exhibit here in Dallas (1 of 2 US cities where the expo is shown, i believe?). My favorite is your last picture; all those buttons lined up. Isn’t it amazing? Does make me wonder how much weight that added to the dress!

  3. Hi there, we apologize that this is left as a comment, but we couldn’t find a way to e-maill you directly. We would like to invite you to:
    Come Join us for a Blogger Meet-Up at Cañada College
    Monday, August 13, 2012 from 7-9pmWe’ll show you around our fabulous space and tell you a little about what we do, provide an opportunity to chat with other bloggers, have lots of yummy food, and great gifts.

    Please RSVP to Ronda Chaney, Department Chair at (650) 306-3370 or chaney@smccd.edu by August 6, 2012.

    Visit us online at:www.canadacollege.edu/fashion

  4. Oh, so sad that I didn’t find out about this earlier! Your pictures look spectacular; I can’t wait to see those garments in person! I vote that there be a meet-up earlier than August 😉

    1. Oh, yes. We should plan something in your honor. I know Beth was sad that she found out too late about your move to send you a proper invitation. Any thoughts on something you’d like to do?

  5. How fun, I’m so jealous of all you Bay Area sewists living close enough together to have meetups! Maybe if the next one is planned far enough in advance I can drive the 5 hours up…
    And don’t feel bad about the guards at the deYoung, they’re the yelliest museum guards ever. I actually don’t love going to the deYoung for just that reason – I feel like they’re just waiting for an opportunity to be mean! Plus SFMOMA is my favorite museum in the world, so I always go there when I’m in SF instead.

  6. Hi Amy – once again a fantastic post, I think you will have a second career as a photojournalist. so much fun, and the 3 hours of chatting flew by. It is so great to be able to talk sewing and life with such great women. August, let’s do it!

  7. A fabulous set of pictures! I was hoping to be there, but it was not to be this time…

    It’s nice to meet your blog; hopefully I’ll be able to meet you at the next event 🙂

    1. I am hoping that August 13 will work for many of you to come to Canada College. See our beautiful campus, enjoy food, fun, and sharing garments that you have made. 7:00 pm in the building 3, room 255

  8. I loved the ‘button dress’ – thanks for some great pictures of it as my camera decided to poop out just as I got to the ‘runway.’ Play-time with fellow sewists is always so much fun. Sounds as if you had a fabulous time.

  9. Amazing photos! It was a fun get-together — so great to meet you and other fellow sewists here in the Bay Area. Look forward to seeing you at the next event!

  10. These are gorgeous pictures… you’ve really captured the energy of the clothes. I love the striped lace dress, unbelievable…

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