Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Exhibit at the Met
This was a highlight of New York. I honestly don’t know what I can say about the McQueen exhibit at the Met that hasn’t been said, or isn’t composed entirely of stunned babbling noises. If you have any power to physically go, do it. It is literally one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. Beyond the masterful execution, genius exploration of concept, and unsurpassed beauty of the clothes themselves, the Costume Institute’s presentation of everything was pure art. Visuals, sound, lighting…I have not seen anything outside of Disneyland that has created such an immersion into the imagination of an artist. I have never left with such a complete understanding of a body of work. No detail was overlooked, with each element conspiring to recreate the sensory experience of his collections. Rooms included floor to ceiling antiqued glass framed in gold, candles flickering in a sumptuous romantic salon, cabinets of charred wood holding accessories and headpieces, fans blowing capes into life, pedestals and Victorian cases of spinning dresses close enough to touch, runway videos set into ceilings and walls, two way mirrors, and the infamous hologram of Kate Moss spinning in ethereal space. The sound design was meticulous, each room filling with the romantic and often disturbing orchestrations underlying the emotional themes of the work. Videos played a perfect counterpart, showing the life of the clothing in motion and the performance art that his shows truly were. One of my favorite parts of the exhibit were the numerous quotes and explanations in McQueen’s own words–another way to tip-toe deeper into his feverish mind.
I stepped out of the exhibit and into the gift shop as if exiting a lovely and twisted dream. Alexander McQueen was nothing short of a genius: a true artist whose medium happened to be fashion. This exhibit did him solid justice, a beautiful & tragic testament to how great our loss truly is.
Experience the exhibit online with amazing videos, explanations, and high resolution images on the Met’s website (which is where I got these lovelies).
Watch this exclusive video tour from New York Magazine.