Monday, August 8, 2011

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty



Well the Mistress is back from a very wonderful weekend spent with her dear friend and sister Mame, aka David Dust and meeting the fabulous Designing Wally from over at A Queen's Queen. More on the later, kids. The main reason was a long overdue visit to The Metropolitan Museum of Art to see Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. And what a moving experience. Mame even said we should leave earlier than we planned, and decide to be there by 7:30 am. Yes you read that right. No small feat as the night before we put away three bottles of wine easy. Went down like mother's milk. But we made it there on time. Miracles never cease. And to our surprise, the line wasn't to long when we got there. Mind ya, this was the wrong line we got in when we got there. But it worked out to our advantage as we became members of the Met, and got in a hour and a half early before the general public. So worth it!!! We had NO IDEA just how good it would be. When we left for the day we understood the time limit was up to 5 hours long to get in!!!! Here's a few snaps.



Like many Americans of my generation, I came to be a fan of Alexander McQueen through his work for Givenchy in the late '90s. I had been following the designer long before his death. My interest reached a fever pitch with his collection titled Romantic Gothic in 2006. None of this prepared me for "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" which was on view at The Costume Institute. It was a very moving, probably, hands down, the best fashion exhibit I have ever seen!!! The Met did a wonderful job rigging the mannequins, and each room decor was done to play back with each collection, not to mention the haunting music and the video footage from all his shows was a nice touch. I felt sorry for Mame, because I knew I'd be in their for the long haul. And I was pretty much speechless for the whole exhibit.

The first pieces you are confronted with at the entrance of this intense exhibit space are from the Spring 2001 Voss collection, a collection very focused on beauty and perhaps less sinister than much of McQueen's work. A red ostrich-feather dress and a sculptural white razor clam shell piece give the viewer an idea of the world-class craftsmanship they are about to witness at arm's length. And the top of that red dress? Made completely out of glass laboratory slides painted red!!! That's talent.





After the first room that featured his first collection, Voss,we are quickly ushered into the darker, masochistic facets of McQueen's personality and design as we explore the Romantic Gothic room, probably my favorite, and the Cabinet of Curiosities. In one quote McQueen talks about how people view some of his more violent work, his bondage and fetish influences come to mind. He explains that to him these phenomenon are not aggressive but romantic.









Poor Mame was sitting outside the McQueen exhibit when I finally came out. And I was very visually and mentally exhausted, as I took in every last detail. I found this video you can watch. I plead and beg you will watch. IT IS EXCELLENT! And really captures the feel of the event and the music of the exhibit if you couldn't make it. Again, very moving.



UPDATE-It's rumored that the exhibit may be headed to London in some capacity.

23 comments:

  1. I just went earlier yesterday, inspire by you to go for the finale, I felt it was more symbolic and was so worth the 5 hour wait, yes FIVE! There will be no other like him, every ounce of his tormented soul and plagues from his angels from the depths of hell went into his creations and he's more than inspiration, he's hope. And do you know what song was playing in the 2nd room Gothic Romantic? I was oddly lulled by it : ) Long live McQueen
    !

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  2. Sounds like you two were very taken by it as I was.Saw this exhibition when it first started. No words could possibly describe his genius as an artist. I loved how he didnt care what others thought. "I don't care if they like my work or not just as long as they feel something from it." ...spoken like a true artistic king.

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  3. What a great post and thanks for the vide. It was great and I'm sure it even doesn't do it justice. His designs were
    absolutely beautiful, so indescribable because of how impeccably brilliant and innovative they were. I am so upset I will not be seeing this exhibit. I so need to hang with you.

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  4. Batina8/08/2011

    I would die to go to the exhibition, but i live in London. McQueen was a genius. I wonder if it will ever travel? And the video is excellent-thank you!!!!

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  5. fantastic post, that video is amazing. those clothes stand on their own, so impressive

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  6. These pieces are filled with so much emotion . It's beautiful ! And even the interiors are stunning. The Met outdid themselves on this one! I wish I could have seen it.

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  7. What lucky people to be able to see these works. An amazing craftsman...
    thank you for sharing your visit...

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  8. What a wonderful way to see a lifetime's work displayed -- I'm not surprised it was overwhelming.

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  9. What an amazingly talented man. It must have been a spectacular show.

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  10. So hard to watch, so impossible not to.
    I find it fascinating how genius and mental health issues are so intertwined in the human brain. Too many times have we seen this combination play out in a younger than expected death with who knows how many unexpressed creations never to be realized.
    McQueen's work is haunting, some of it is fascinating and some of it is beyond brilliant, none if it is pedestrian.
    Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  11. So glad you enjoyed the show & it was great to meet you!
    Thanks for posting the video (I hadn't seen it). and Thank you for everything else too.

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  12. Isn't it interesting that such a vast number of the World's most awe-inspiring works are born from such dark places? Now I wish I would have went!

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  13. I just want to wear it all...

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  14. Preston- I believe the song may be the theme song in the background from Schindler's List. I love it too. And I did see this also and would agree that you for sure get a fever pitch, very intense. Great post.

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  15. I went to the exhibit. I cried with joy. It was so
    amazing,beautiful and intense in emotion. I hated how alot of people there was saying its so Lady Gaga, and that this isn't art, she didn't have a damn thing to do with it and that he is a disturbed person. Honestly.... the exhibit evokes what we are as humans in my opinion

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  16. I so gald you all enjoyed the show and if you didn't make it, I'm gald you enjoyed the post-Thank-you for your comments.

    Batina- I hear the show may come to London in a smaller collection.

    Princess- Thank you for stopping by and welcome to the Casa!!!!


    Craig- I couldn't agree more, Such a shame.

    Wally- It was a real pleasure meeting you and I'll see ya around the Casa...or the Astoria Pied a Terre!

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  17. The exhibition has recreated the grandeur which best signifies McQueen's creativity and artistry. The well thought out setup, the clever play with lights and sound and movement, brought to live the genius whom not many of us have had the privilege to meet. Hail McQueen & Welldone Costume Institute!

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  18. Thanks for posting the vid, it looked amazing, and I'm not that much into fashion.I really want to know where I can listen to these songs that were playing at the exhibit.

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  19. WEll Mistress, We drove down two weeks ago to see it and I though of you when there. I remember you posted about it when it started. So we saw the exhibit and while I "appreciated" his work before, seeing this really made me respect him. It wasn't "fashion" or "making clothes" really, to him, it was sculpture, it was performance art. Whole new respect for him when I came out of it... chills I tell ya.

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  20. Mistress, you sooooo should have did a Borghese Group tour from Philly! I so should have went to see this. I love the flower dress and the one with the lace and antlers sticking up from it!

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  21. You out did your self on this post! Thanks for sharing the trip there, it looks so well done and his pieces would look very comfy in my closet. And what's this about a new blog Miriam was saying?

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  22. Wicked beautiful. I always find that the clothing high end designers create largely for display; rather than the drab and rarely inventive stuff they put out for general public consumption, is so many levels of lovely and intriguing

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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