Other Grandeur Travelers.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to Catwalk

- Designers are catalysts of their time; their role is to translate the changes, the mutations and evolution of society - Jean Paul Gaultier.

The first fashion exhibition of celebrated French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier at San Francisco's de young Museum is not meant to be esoteric. In fact, it may be for people who have no idea what haute couture is about. It is for all the dilettantes in the world and I believe that character is innate in all of us. After all, fashion is art - a form of self expression and statement. Jean Paul Gaultier's works may seem intimidating and slightly "confusing" for some people but this exhibition will someone make the high fashion world more accessible for everyone. 

When John Paul Gaultier started his runway shows in the 1970s, he eventually became a force in the haute couture scene. He was one of those few brave people who owned up to being different. His avant garde and hyper-sexualized works reflected cultures, subcultures, and countercultures, making all his pieces living art. Through his collections, Gaultier celebrated alternative lifestyles and that blurred the distinction between masculine and feminine. When he introduced skirts and corsets as menswear, he seamlessly presented the concept of androgyny. Clothes suddenly had no gender.

Jean Paul Gaultier's exceptional works certainly go beyond the technical virtuosity of haute couture craftsmanship. Through his clothes, he encourages our world to be more tolerant. 

Open your mind. Welcome to the world of haute-couture dressmaking.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ladurée in New York: French Macaron Indulgence + Kyotofu

There's always an excuse for sweet indulgence once in a while. We sauntered the more upscale streets of Manhattan, looking for a shop that sold one of my favorite things to eat in the world: Macarons but not just ordinary macarons - Laduree macarons. 

Macaron lovers and Upper East Side residents got a sugar high last year when Laduree opened its first store in the USA. Laduree has always been the king of French Macarons, no doubt. FYI, Laduree is not just a pastry shop. It has been an institution since its 1862 opening in Paris.  It then seemed natural for the macaron maison to bring them to New York City. (Pierre Herme has reinvented the taste of these exquisite treats though. They are bolder and more experimental. Green asparagus, anyone?).

On its opening day, the lines were mad and that continued for days. Suddenly, Madison Avenue was the mecca for macaron fans. Laduree in New York seemed fitting.