Alexander McQueen ~ Savage Beauty
On May 4 the Alexander McQueen exhibition ~ Savage Beauty ~ in the Met was opened for the public. Organized by The Costume Institute, it celebrates the late Alexander McQueen’s extraordinary contributions to fashion. From his Central Saint Martins postgraduate collection of 1992 to his final runway presentation, which took place after his death in February 2010, Mr. McQueen challenged and expanded the understanding of fashion beyond utility to a conceptual expression of culture, politics, and identity. His iconic designs constitute the work of an artist whose medium of expression was fashion. The exhibition features approximately one hundred ensembles and seventy accessories from Mr. McQueen’s prolific nineteen-year career. Drawn primarily from the Alexander McQueen Archive in London, with some pieces from the Givenchy Archive in Paris as well as private collections, signature designs including the “bumster” trouser, the kimono jacket, and the three-point “origami” frock coat are on view. McQueen’s fashions often referenced the exaggerated silhouettes of the 1860s, 1880s, 1890s, and 1950s, but his technical ingenuity always imbued his designs with an innovative sensibility that kept him at the vanguard.
Savage Beauty, May 4–July 31, 2011, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
The text above is taken literally of the Met blog. If you’re as unfortunate as I’m and not able to visit Savage Beauty, the museum has done a great job in sharing it online. On the blog you’ll find a extensive video narrated by the curator of the exhibition, Andrew Bolton. Together with pictures of other selected designs that feature in the exhibition.
Prior to the exhibition high end fashion warehouse Bergdorf Goodman complimented and paid tribute by transforming the shop windows in true thematic Alexander McQueen worlds. Assisted by Trino Verkade, archivist at Alexander McQueen, and with pieces on loan from the Alexander McQueen archives in London the end results were pure visual treats. The windows were only displayed until May 15, but you can still feast your eyes on the pictures on the Bergdorf Goodman blog.
Alexander McQueen (British, 1969–2010)
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, autumn/winter 2002–3
Coat of black parachute silk; trouser of black synthetic; hat of black silk satin
Hat by Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen courtesy of Alister Mackie
Courtesy of Alexander McQueen
Photography by Sølve Sundsbø
In McQueen’s Words
“This collection was inspired by Tim Burton. It started off dark and then got more romantic as it went along.”