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New York -- Talking mannequins almost steal the show at the exhibition, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” which opened recently at The Brooklyn Museum in New York City.
The exhibition, which spans Gaultier’s 30-plus-year career and runs until February 23, 2014, includes approximately 30 animated mannequins. The high-tech mannequins, designed and manufactured by Mannequins Jolicoeur International, Quebec, actually seem alive at first glance. Some laugh, some wink; others smile, whistle and speak — and it’s all done in such a realistic way that it makes visitors do a double-take. Gaultier himself is represented, warmly welcoming visitors in both French and English.
The animation effects are accomplished by a high-tech, high-definition audiovisual system that includes projecting facial images on to the mannequins. (For a video of the mannequins, click here.)
In addition to the 30 animated mannequins, the exhibit features another 110 mannequins (also from Jolicoeur) that, in their own way, also break new ground, from the use of multiple color finishes to skin tones that correspond exactly to the diverse ethnicities, a signature element of Gaultier’s runway shows.
The must-see exhibit was organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in collaboration with Maison Jean Paul Gaultier, Paris.