The Man Who Found Beauty in Everything

Sunday, July 31, 2011
Bonjour, everyone, I hope the summer is treating you well!
I promised you all an inside peek into the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, so here we go! Keep in mind that this will mainly be a photo post, with some appropriate words from the one and only, Mr. McQueen.
Quotes and some photographs belong to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Outside the Met, Dress: Urban Outfitters, Ballet Flats: Elie Tahari, Tote: Longchamp, Studded Headband: Tasha Accessories.

The entrance to the exhibit, which played with the idea of "polarized opposites, whether it’s to do with life or death, lightness or darkness, predator/prey, man/machine." -Andrew Bolton.  The blood red dress on the left made of dyed ostrich feathers and hand painted medical slides is one of my favorite McQueen dresses (s/s 2001 "Voss").

"I am a Romantic Schizophrenic." -Alexander McQueen

The Romantic Mind 

“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

Inspired by McQueen's first atelier in Hoxton Square, the Romantic Mind showcases works from collections such as Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims and Highland Rape. It also features the "Bumster" skirt, one of his most controversial and famous pieces.

Romantic Gothic

“People find my things sometimes aggressive. But I don’t see it as aggressive. I see it as romantic, dealing with a dark side of personality.”—Alexander McQueen

Inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher." Mcquuen often reffered to himself as the Edgar Allen Poe of Fashion, which is shown in his obsession with darkness, death, and the afterlife. 

Cabinet of Curiosities

“I . . . like the accessory for its sadomasochistic aspect.” -Alexander McQueen

Filled with accessories from McQueen's various collaborations with people such as Philip Treacy and jeweler Shaun Leane, this room also contains dresses from the s/s 2005 show "It's Only A Game," and the performance art piece that is the cotton spray painted dress from s/s 1999, "No. 13."

A close up shot of the dress. 

Romantic Nationalism

“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.”—Alexander McQueen

This room exercised pieces from McQueen's most nationalistic collections, "Highland Rape" (f/w 1995-96), "The Widows of Culloden" (f/w 2006-07), and "The Girl Who Lived in the Tree" (f/w 2008-09). The clothing shown is very extravagant, but this was actually a subtle mockery of the British royalty that he grew up with.

Romantic Exoticism

“I want to be honest about the world that we live in, and sometimes my political persuasions come through in my work. Fashion can be really racist, looking at the clothes of other cultures as costumes. . . . That’s mundane and it’s old hat. Let’s break down some barriers.”—Alexander McQueen

Looks from the collections "Voss" and "It's Only A Game."

Romantic Primitivism

“I try to push the silhouette. To change the silhouette is to change the thinking of how we look. What I do is look at ancient African tribes, and the way they dress. The rituals of how they dress. . . . There’s a lot of tribalism in the collections.”—Alexander McQueen

Romantic Naturalism

“I have always loved the mechanics of nature and to a greater or lesser extent my work is always informed by that.”—Alexander McQueen

Inspired by Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, "Plato's Atlantis" was one of McQueen's most controversial shows, with one model refusing to walk the runway in the 10-inch "Jellyfish Armadillo" boot, shown above.

The man was a dark genius, there really is no other way to describe it. Until next time!

Christina Anne


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