Saturday, August 13, 2011

Savage Beauty: The Alexander McQueen Exhibit

"People don't want to see clothes," ... "They want to see something that fuels the imagination."

From the collection Romantic Nationalism, Widows of Culloden, Autumn/Winter 2006/7. Dress of McQueen tartan; top of nude silk appliqued with black lace; underskirt of cream silk tulle.

"You've got to know the rules to break them. That's what I'm here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition."

From the collection Romantic Exoticism, Summer 2001. Overdress of panels from a nineteenth century Japanese screen; underdress of oyster shells; neckpiece of silver and Tahiti pearls.

"I don't really get inspired [by specific women]....It's more in the minds of the women in the past, like Catherine the Great, of Marie Antoinette. People who were doomed. Joan of Arc or Colette. Iconic women."

Dress from the Romantic Exoticism collection, Spring/Summer 2001. Razor clam shells stripped and varnished.

"I relate more to that cold, austere asceticism of the Flemish masters, and I also love the macabre thing you see in Tudor and Jacobean portraiture."

Romantic Gothic, House of Givenchy Haute Couture, autumn/winter 1997-8. Dress and gloves of black leather. Collar of red pheasant feathers and resin vulture skulls.

"I want to empower women. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress."

Romantic Nationalism, The Girl Who Lived in the Tree, autumn/winter 2008-9. Coat of red silk; dress of ivory silk tulle embroidered with crystal beads.

"Beauty can come from the strangest of places, even the most disgusting of places...It's the ugly things I notice more, because other people tend to ignore the ugly things."

I feel so fortunate that I was able to see the McQueen show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art while I was in NYC last week. The exhibit of his pieces was just incredible and made for a wonderful, moving experience. Apparently, it was the 8th most popular show at the Met in 141 years. The exhibit was so well thought out and curated, and so many different emotions were evoked throughout the various rooms of the show, it was simply stunning. He was a master of his craft and it's a terrible loss that he is no longer with us today. The details of his work and materials that were used to create each piece are beyond words. If you were not able to attend the show, I highly recommend checking out the book Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty, it is a fabulous summary of the exhibit.

Images in this post from Ology

1 comment:

  1. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that exhibit—simply extraordinary. Milton Glaser was right, "If you don't see it, it'll be one of the losses of your life."