Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Show at the Met
Who was Alexander McQueen?
Alexander McQueen, whose full name was Lee Alexander McQueen, was a British fashion designer known for his groundbreaking and visionary work in the fashion industry. He was born on March 17, 1969, in London, England, and tragically passed away on February 11, 2010.
McQueen’s career began in the early 1990s, and he quickly gained attention for his dramatic and theatrical designs, pushing the boundaries of fashion with his avant-garde and unconventional creations. He was known for his mastery of tailoring, craftsmanship, and an exceptional eye for detail.
Throughout his career, Alexander McQueen earned numerous accolades and awards for his contributions to the fashion world. He was appointed as the chief designer at the French fashion house Givenchy in 1996, where he brought his unique vision to the brand’s collections.
In 2001, he launched his eponymous brand, Alexander McQueen, which became a global fashion powerhouse and was critically acclaimed for its innovative designs and runway shows. His collections often explored dark and surreal themes, blending historical references with futuristic elements, and were frequently inspired by nature, technology, and art.
McQueen’s runway shows were legendary, known for their theatrical and immersive qualities. He turned fashion shows into captivating performances, using elaborate sets, music, and storytelling to create unforgettable experiences for his audience.
Tragically, Alexander McQueen died by suicide in 2010, leaving behind a significant legacy in the fashion world. His brand continued under the creative direction of his close collaborator, Sarah Burton, who has continued to honor McQueen’s vision while infusing her own creativity into the collections.
Alexander McQueen’s impact on the fashion industry continues to be felt, and he is remembered as one of the most influential and visionary designers of his generation. His legacy lives on through his designs, his impact on the fashion landscape, and the ongoing success of the Alexander McQueen brand.
What was “Savage Beauty” by Alexander McQueen?
“Savage Beauty” is a retrospective exhibition dedicated to the work of the British fashion designer Alexander McQueen. The exhibition showcased a comprehensive collection of McQueen’s designs, spanning his illustrious career from the early 1990s until his untimely death in 2010. It was organized by the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and first opened in May 2011.
The exhibition was curated by Andrew Bolton and was highly acclaimed for its elaborate and immersive presentation, which reflected the dramatic and theatrical nature of McQueen’s fashion shows. The showcase featured around 100 ensembles, including some of McQueen’s most iconic and influential designs, as well as pieces that were rarely seen before the exhibition.
“Savage Beauty” took visitors on a journey through the evolution of McQueen’s designs, from his early collections exploring themes of violence and war to his later works that drew inspiration from nature, art, and historical references. It highlighted McQueen’s masterful tailoring, exquisite craftsmanship, and his ability to push the boundaries of fashion with innovative techniques and materials.
The exhibition also featured striking set designs and installations, created to complement the themes of McQueen’s collections. It included elements like mirrored walls, mannequins suspended from the ceiling, and multimedia displays, all designed to enhance the overall immersive experience for visitors.
“Savage Beauty” was an enormous success and drew record-breaking crowds during its run at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Due to its popularity, the exhibition was later adapted and shown at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in 2015, drawing equally enthusiastic responses from fashion enthusiasts and art lovers alike.
The retrospective not only celebrated Alexander McQueen’s remarkable talent and influence on the fashion world but also served as a poignant tribute to the late designer’s creative legacy. It remains one of the most significant and unforgettable fashion exhibitions in recent history.
More about Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty
Alexander McQueen was easily one of the most innovative and thought-provoking artists in recent times. Not only was he a fashion-designing force to be reckoned with nor was he a “perfect pair” to the likes of Lady Gaga.
No, McQueen was an absolute visionary who redefined fashion, silhouettes, beauty, art, and the runway show. It is one of my deepest sorrows that I have never and will never see a McQueen show as he sadly killed himself last year.
How this creative genius changed the world of fashion in his short time is uncanny and can not be recreated or even compared to any other designer, house, or label.
McQueen’s designs were absolute works of “Savage Beauty” juxtaposing light and darkness, love and fear, and Gothic villainy and Victorian ethereality. This man, this genius, was and forever will be an icon to the world of fashion, design, and art.
His pieces have been expertly curated by Andrew Bolton who designed “Savage Beauty” at The Met with the utmost attention from the wall treatments to the music to the layout and displays.
Each room offers an experience, an experience that not only makes one feel as though they are McQueen’s Spring / Summer 1999 collection, but forces viewers deep into the mind of Alexander McQueen himself.
The entire exhibition is adorned with quotes and thoughts from McQueen that left me with a sense of haunt as if the visionary himself was holding my hand as I walked from room to room.
“Savage Beauty” which has been on display at The Met and is known for its hour long waits (sometimes more) had been extended but is tragically coming to a close on August 7, 2011. Make sure you check this experiential moment out for yourself.
The wait is definitely worth the majestic and bewildering awe in which you will undoubtedly succumb. Alexander McQueen: “Savage Beauty” brought to you by The Met and Andrew Bolton offer you a moment into the recesses of a legend’s heart and soul that will haunt you forever. Whatever you do, DO NOT let this exhibition disappear without stepping foot through its illustrious threshold.
This art blog post about the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Show was published by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs in New York City.