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.