Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty | The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
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. – Alexander McQueen
That is exactly how I felt last weekend at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (I broke the rules) while attending an amazing exhibition of the late designer Alexander McQueen.
Where to begin… It all started with more than an hour wait in line, anticipating and being filled with excitement of what I was about to see. I didn’t mind the long wait, the atmosphere was very positive and cheering. People in line were discussing the designer’s career, his story and collections. I’ve learned some interesting facts about his life and work while waiting in line. Also, to my disappointment I found out that it was strictly forbidden to take any pictures or film a movie. To be honest, I felt even more excited about it because I was determined to take as many pictures as I could, so I can share my experience with my dear readers!
I took these pictures with an iPhone, very fast, and I tried to be inconspicuous… At some point the security guard approached me and warned me that the next time he sees me doing it again, he would make me leave the exhibition ;-) I guess I cheated … So don’t be too judgmental about the pics quality, I really tried!
Here is the picture from the first gallery that is called The Romantic Mind. You can find some of the first McQueen creations among which are the famous Bumster pants (very low-rise pants that reveal buttocks, an elongating torso cut) a silhouette that McQueen invented in 1993-94.
I liked the black skirt with an interesting detail – a silver watch chain, and next to it there was an inscription with McQueen’s response to a critique about that style that I found very original.
“Someone wrote that [the watch chains] were tampons…. That’s not even perverse; it’s just gross”
This charming mannequin dressed in aforementioned bumster pants and silk coat meets and greets the visitors at the entrance to the Romantic Gothic gallery. When I was standing next to it, I felt the mysterious presence of Alexander McQueen, as if I was a part of his enigmatic inside world… I had chills all over my body when I was standing and listening to the wind blowing, the atmosphere was very obscure.
I really liked the idea of the mirrored display where the mannequins were standing. You can observe the shoes from every angle and see every detail including the sole.
These shoes are part of Daphne Guinness‘s private collection – the designer’s muse, fashionista and socialite who championed McQueen’s work.
“Scotland for me is a harsh, cold and bitter place. It was even worse when my great great grandfather used to live there… The reason I’m patriotic about Scotland is because I think it’s been dealt a really hard hand. It’s marketed the world over as… haggis… bagpipes. But no one ever puts anything back into it.”
“During the nineties, care and attention to detail got lost somehow. This collection is about going back to a level of refinement. Every piece is unique and has emotional content. I want to create pieces that can be handed down, like an heirloom.”
This is a picture of McQueen’s Highland Rape collection that McQueen created in 1995-96. The designer was referring to the rape of Scotland by England. This collection is at the Romantic Nationalism gallery of McQueen’s exhibition. McQueen saw the Scottish heritage as rather bleak and rather brutal. In this particular collection, you can see that actually manifested in the clothes themselves by the slashing of the garments.
This picture is from McQueen’s latest collection: Plato’s Atlantis S/S 2010 that was presented after designer’s tragic death. Lady Gaga had purchased some of the outfits from this collection for her Bad Romance video.
“McQueen’s approach to fashion, however, combined the precision and traditions of tailoring and pattern making with the spontaneity and improvisations of draping and dressmaking—an approach that became more refined after his tenure as creative director of Givenchy in Paris from 1996 to 2001.” (Met museum blog)
“This collection predicted a future in which the ice cap would melt… the waters would rise and…life on earth would have to evolve in order to live beneath the sea once more or perish….Humanity would go back to the place from whence it came.”
“There is no way back for me now. I am going to take you on journeys you’ve never dreamed were possible.”
Kate Moss Hologram.
Enjoy the rest of my spy snapshots ;-)
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