Monday, 30 May 2011

Exhibition Report: Savage Beauty

McQueen 1_1

I am finally home! I finished my 10 month contract on my current cruise ship, changed over the cast and got home safely. I was charged an obscene amount to get my bags home though, but that's another story :-)

McQueen 2_1

Before I left New York I got the chance to see the Alexander McQueen exhibition, Savage Beauty, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In short it was spectacular.

McQueen 3

Alexander McQueen is one of my heroes. His work combines soft and hard, tailored and draped, ordinary and fantastical, printed and plain. The exhibition was beautifully put together, staged in well designed spaces that reflected the feel of the pieces within.

McQueen 4a

Each section of the exhibition had an excellent and well informed introduction and included quotes from Lee throughout. These ranged from informative to profound to just plain funny! Here are a few of my favourites:

I spent a long time learning how to construct clothes, which is important to do before you can deconstruct them.

I want to empower women. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress.

When you see a woman wearing McQueen, there's a certain hardenss to the clothes that makes her look powerful. It kind of fends people off.

Britain always led the way in every field possible in the world from art to pop music. Eve from the days of Henry VIII. It's a nation where people come and gloat at what we have as a valuable heritage, be it some good, some bad, but there's no place like it on earth.

As a place for inspiration it's the best in the world... You're inspired by the anarchy in the country.

Someone wrote that [the watch chains -
from Highland Rape A/W 1995-6] were tampons... that's not even perverse; it's just gross.

I want to be the purveyor of a certain silhouette or a way of cutting, so that when I am dead and gone people will know that the twenty-first century was started by Alexander McQueen.

As I was reading the last quote, two girls were next to me and they laughed at it... but it's true. The styles that have been started by Alexander McQueen have seeped into the high street and been watered down for the general consumer. These people have now idea how influenced by him their wardrobes are!

McQueen 5

This exhibition was profound and very sad for me. Alexander McQueen was a real artist and genius. His work and words speak to me on so many levels it is hard to explain. Seeing his work on display almost brought a tear to my eye as I remembered that he is no longer with us to create such great work. Sarah Burton will continue his legacy well, but the House of McQueen will never ben the same without Lee.

McQueen 6_1

If you are in New York you need to go see this exhibition. If you can't make it get the book, every piece has been beautifully photographed and there is even stuff in there not in the exhibition.

McQueen 7_1

You can see more photos from the exhibition on the Met's Flickr photostream here

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