Friday, March 25, 2011

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

100 selected dresses from the late Alexander McQueen will be displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The exhibit runs from May 4th to July 31st & will feature garments from his 18 highly acclaimed years as a designer. I may add that I'm not much of a fashionista. The fashion industry changes taste & trends too quickly, that regular people find it too exhausting to keep up. Plus, the industry can often be a very shallow & pretentious.

Still, I'm a huge fan of Alexander McQueen. He took the straight-forward runway & created an event out of it. He often shocked & awed the audience not with just his experimental outfits, but with the set-up of his runway shows. Some shows included ice-skating, a carousel, or models acting as chess pieces. He wasn't afraid to be expressive with technology, also, as he had machines spray paint over a white, linen dress or featured a life-sized hologram of Kate Moss floating, which became a ghostly study in the movement of the garment.

Even though these expositions could of had the potential to overpower the clothing, the shows were extravagant & exciting because the cloths were. McQueen drew inspiration from many cultures & eras. There was everything from Russian royalty, to British Victorian, to 1950's sci-fi. He created elaborate headdress that included paper butterflies, model airplanes, or trash. He also set wearable, everyday clothing trends like the "bumster," which set the trend for low-rise jeans, or the kimono jacket.

Here at the JCBA, we believe that narrative comes in many forms, & McQueen was a master storyteller in his medium. This comes from the combination of his stylized clothes & the performance of his exhibits. He sew stories that were often romantic, futuristic, & terrifying. This exhibit is a well deserved honored for McQueen & I wish I was making a trip to N.Y.

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