"Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty"

Curator Andrew Bolton breaks down the contrast between the horrifying and the exquisite in the late designer's work, on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

0

Comments

Add +
  • Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    NATURALISM Dress, Sarabande, spring/summer 2007 The inspiration: "This is...

    NATURALISM
    Dress, Sarabande, spring/summer 2007
    The inspiration: "This is inspired by a video by the artist Sam Taylor-Wood. She's a photographer and video artist, and over a period of time [she filmed] a bowl of fruit that began to rot."
    The outcome: "This is [the finale dress] from a collection called Sarabande, and it's made of both silk and real flowers. As the model walked on the catwalk, the real flowers were dropping off the dress. McQueen loved nature---it was an ongoing theme in his work. The idea was the concept of how, over time, nature deteriorates, whether it's flowers or fruit. It was a very melancholic approach, and a very deeply romantic approach."

  • Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    GOTHIC Dress, VOSS, spring/summer 2001 The inspiration: "[Picture] two surgical...

    GOTHIC
    Dress, VOSS, spring/summer 2001
    The inspiration: "[Picture] two surgical slides with a blood sample in between them: That's what McQueen is referencing. But here [on the bodice], they're painted red. The Victorian was something he revisited---and ideas of death, decay, dereliction."
    The outcome: "The bodice is made up of hundreds of microscopic surgical slides that are painted red. The underpinnings of this collection were about challenging conventional or normative ideals of beauty---McQueen prompted beauty based on ideas of difference and distinction. He had a saying that it was the ugly things in life that inspired him, rather than the beautiful things."

  • Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    PRIMITIVISM Dress, Irere, spring/summer 2003 The inspiration: "McQueen loved...

    PRIMITIVISM
    Dress, Irere, spring/summer 2003
    The inspiration: "McQueen loved the idea of storytelling; every one of his collections told [one]. The story for this was a shipwreck at sea, and the subsequent landfall in the Amazon. [I've] called this 'the oyster dress.'"
    The outcome: "The dress is made up of hundreds and hundreds of layers of organza that have been left unfinished, so you have this very deconstructed feel about it. It has the 1890s silhouette, with a corseted body, but it also has these layers of chiffon coming off the side of it, like sea kelp. It's almost like she fell into the sea."

  • Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    CABINET OF CURIOSITIES Dress, No. 13, spring/summer 1999 The inspiration: "No...

    CABINET OF CURIOSITIES
    Dress, No. 13, spring/summer 1999
    The inspiration: "No. 13 was inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement. The inspiration came from the artist Rebecca Horn. She had one installation where two machine guns were firing blood-red paint at each other."
    The outcome: "This dress was the finale to that particular collection, worn by the model Shalom Harlow, who was on a turntable, rotating like a ballerina. Next to her were two industrial robotic paint-sprayers. As she rotated, they shot out paint and sprayed the dress in a graffiti-like way. McQueen was very well-known for these spectacles on the runway, but this was his first big gag. The finales often had these sublime moments that would completely create this idea of awe and wonderment in his audience."

  • Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    EXOTICISM Dress, VOSS, spring/summer 2001 The inspiration: "McQueen had a...

  • Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Ensemble, It's a Jungle Out There, autumn/winter 1997--98

  • Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Ensemble, Dante, autumn/winter 1996--97

  • Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Ensemble, VOSS, spring/summer 2001

  • Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Dress, autumn/winter 2010--11

  • Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Dress, The Horn of Plenty, autumn/winter 2009--10

  • Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Ensemble, Plato's Atlantis, spring/summer 2010

  • Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Dress, autumn/winter 2010

Photograph: Slve Sundsb / Art + Commerce courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

NATURALISM Dress, Sarabande, spring/summer 2007 The inspiration: "This is...

NATURALISM
Dress, Sarabande, spring/summer 2007
The inspiration: "This is inspired by a video by the artist Sam Taylor-Wood. She's a photographer and video artist, and over a period of time [she filmed] a bowl of fruit that began to rot."
The outcome: "This is [the finale dress] from a collection called Sarabande, and it's made of both silk and real flowers. As the model walked on the catwalk, the real flowers were dropping off the dress. McQueen loved nature---it was an ongoing theme in his work. The idea was the concept of how, over time, nature deteriorates, whether it's flowers or fruit. It was a very melancholic approach, and a very deeply romantic approach."

HAUTE COUTURE "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave at 82nd St (212-535-7710, metmuseum.org). Suggested donation $20, seniors $15, students $10, members and children under 12 free. Wed 4--July 31.

Users say

0 comments