02 June 2011

Savage Beauty

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, autumn/winter 2002–3

Bloody amazing. Those are the words that come to mind when I think about the new Met exhibit “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.” Passing through each room of the exhibit last weekend, I was blown away by the juxtaposition of raw and polished, opulent and stark, simple and complex. In short, I was surrounded by masterpieces. 

Widows of Culloden, autumn/winter 2006–7

If I had to chose a favourite room it would be a toss up between Romantic Gothic whose antiqued mirrors reflected gowns inspired by the darker side of Victorianism and the Romantic Nationalism room covered in marquetry and filled with works of tartan, an ode to McQueen's heritage. 

VOSS, spring/summer 2001

And oh my God, the feathers. McQueen appears to have been able to take any material from nature and incorporate it into a gown or a headpiece. The dresses like the one above covered in red and black ostrich feathers were beyond beautiful. I also loved how the video installations featuring various McQueen shows, especially the moving hologram of Kate Moss from his Fall/Winter 2006 runway show, were integrated so perfectly among the designs.

Highland Rape, autumn/winter 1995–96

McQueen was brilliant and the fact that he is no longer here makes viewing the exhibit bittersweet (as did seeing items that once belonged to Isabella Blow). "Savage Beauty" is a great opportunity to see the best of McQueen's work in one place but also a reminder of all the pieces we will never get to see with his passing.

The Girl Who Lived in the Tree, autumn/winter 2008–9

The exhibit runs through August 7, 2011. Lines are fierce so if you go, try to get there right when the museum opens.

Photos by Sølve Sundsbø.

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