Friday, 22 July 2011

Designer Diary- Savagely Beautiful Day at the MET with Alexander McQueen

Posted by Elisabeth Bass at 15:44 0 comments

As previously blogged, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting the work of Lee Alexander McQueen this summer with an exhibition, described by Johnathan Akeroyd (Cheif Executive Officer, Alexander McQueen) as celebratory of "McQueen's remarkable vision and creativity, showcasing his ingenious fashions as works of art". The exhibit will run for a limited time only, from May-Aug 7th, 2011, with selections primarily from the Alexander McQueen archive as well as from a few private collectors and friends of the late designer.

I was fortunate to personally view the collections this past weekend in New York. After a two hour wait in line (well worth the wait I might add with plenty to view in 19th Century European Art) the ora of the room changed to the careful lighting and musical selections of the McQueen exhibit (musical selections choreographed by British dancer/choreographer Michael Clark).  A bargain, only $25 dollars for admission and an additional $7 for the audio guide (highly recommend as it is profoundly informative), the exhibit was breathtaking from the first beautifully garmented bustform, which is red ostrich feather and colored microscope slides.  Agressively romantic, suggestively sexual, something inside of me literally changed as I felt the creative force behind each masterpiece. 

Captivated by the narration by Shalom Harlow, describing her runway experience being spraypainted by robots in McQueen's Spring/Summer '99 show; I couldn't help but overhear two women describe the piece as a maternity dress.  Angered that I had waited in line behind them and saddened by the thought that they were missing the beauty and creativity of McQueen's work (do not see this exhibit if you think this will be similar to buying off the rack at a department store) I allowed myself to fall even deeper into the art, the thought and the creative genius.  McQueen had stated "I never conformed to any sort of fashion ideal.  My idea was always to show reality".  I left this exhibit forever changed.  The death of Lee Alexander McQueen was a great loss to modern art as well as to fashion.  I strongly urge any and all who have the opportunity to take in this once in a lifetime exhibition, it is truly a masterpiece.

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