07 August 2011

ALEXANDER McQUEEN- SAVAGE BEAUTY Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

As a lifelong McQueen fan, I admit I was more than a little bit excited when I realised the dates of my NYC trip coincided with the highly acclaimed exhibition at the Met!! Now, having completed the experience, to say it was an amazing exhibition would be an understatement.... I'm not sure anything I say about it could possibly do it justice, you really must see it for yourself.

In my opinion what made McQueen so incredible was that he was not just another designer out of St Martins that made it big, but he actually had the pure talent and skill of a creative genius. Something that is a rare quality in this day and age. In our generation, we have pretty much seen it all and it takes a lot to grab our attention. We are not part of the revolutionary fashion eras of change like the 60's or 70's, even the 80's had something that had never been seen before. From the 90's technology kicked in and skill got lost along the way. It happened in hair, it happened in fashion. In a world where, these days you can get famous or recognised globally with little talent at all thanks to the wonder of the internet and reality TV (I have nothing against either of these but it has changed the way we recognise talent), McQueen actually took the time to learn his craft before breaking it down and putting his mark on the fashion world.

"You've got to know the rules to break the rules.... that's what I'm here for to demolish the rules but keep tradition" Alexander McQueen

I felt like the exhibition gave me a little glimpse into the amazing mindset of the creative force that was Alexander McQueen. It really took me on a journey. I felt sadness that we have lost such an amazing talent but I also felt happy knowing his work will live on forever in the fashion world. While I expected the garments would be amazing, to see these couture pieces up close was breathtaking. Each collection was a masterpiece from the inspiration to the design, the detail and the accessories, the hair and makeup -they each had a story to tell.

this jacket was my favourite piece in the first room from McQueen's AW97 collection
It's a Jungle Out There

The exhibition featured works from the beginning of his career in the 90's through to collaborations with Givenchy and each of his collections to date. It was a total sensory experience from the visual to the sound and the way it inspired me and got me thinking. I don't think I have ever seen an exhibition that has had an impact on me like this before......

Although hard to pick, here is a little selection of my favourite elements of SAVAGE BEAUTY:

The cabinet of curiosities featured the famous dress from his 1999 collection which was spray painted by robots during his amazing show.

Possibly my favourite room was the second room which featured his collection for
Givenchy Haute couture- Ensemble Eclect Disect Collection, AW97-98
It had a gothic, Victorian feel to the room and the clothes were just amazing.
My favourite dress below:

The picture doesnt quite do it justice!

I also absolutely loved his SS2005 Show
'It's Only A Game'

I had no idea of the detail and colour in these creations until I saw them in the flesh!

Horse hair detail along with the 'ponytail'

"It's the ugly things I notice more,
because people tend to ignore the ugly things"
Alexander McQueen

And here are is just a small selection of some of the amazing creations shown at the Met:

The last room held the final McQueen collection that he saw through to completion-
Plato's Atlantis SS2010
which had a futuristic edge and featured the famous armadillo shoes:

the famous armadillo shoes

"There is no going back for me now... I'm going to take you on journeys you never dreamed were possible..."
Alexander McQueen

And that is exactly how I could describe the Savage Beauty Exhibition. Thank you for sharing the journey with us McQueen, you made the world a more beautiful, inspiring place.


Pictures taken from The Met blog and various internet sources
Quotes featured throughout Savage Beauty Exhibition at The Met

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