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A Look at the Work of Fashion Designer Alexander McQueen

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

It's been a busy few days for the house of Alexander McQueen.

On Friday, Kate Middleton wore a lacy white long-sleeved gown designed by Sarah Burton, who took over the British fashion house after McQueen committed suicide last February. Tuesday, hundreds attended the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute's gala that celebrated McQueen. And on Wednesday, the Met opens its dark, provocative show dedicated to McQueen's work called "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty."

Kate Middleton in Alexander McQueen

Over 100 McQueen ensembles and 70 accessories created over 19 years are part of the exhibition. The work is split into five sections--"Romantic Mind," "Romantic Gothic," "Romantic Nationalism," "Romantic Exoticism," "Romantic Primitivism"--and they all say Alexander McQueen. They are edgy, political and draw on Victorian and Modern fashions from the late 1800s and 1950s.

Designer Stella McCartney, who was a close friend of McQueen's, said Monday during a press preview that the exhibit reminded her how prolific her friend Lee was before he died.

"When you see the [Met's] show, you remember all of them instantly," said McCartney. "You know, you're just really surprised by the amount of incredible shows that he had."

"Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" opens on Wednesday and is on view through July 31.  Click below to see a slideshow of some of the work on view.

Drumroll, please...
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Drumroll, please...
One of two opening pieces at the Alexander McQueen show at the Met's Costume Institute.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
One of two opening pieces at the Alexander McQueen show at the Met's Costume Institute.
One of two opening pieces at the Alexander McQueen show at the Met's Costume Institute.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
One of two opening pieces at the Alexander McQueen show at the Met's Costume Institute.
The crowd at the Alexander McQueen preview on Monday.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
The crowd at the Alexander McQueen preview on Monday.
Part of the show's
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
Part of the show's "Romantic Mind" section that shows McQueen's obsession with precise tailoring.
McQueen's
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
McQueen's "bumster" bottoms look, also part of the "Romantic Mind" section.
The show had creepy music and a few creepy garments...
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
The show had creepy music and a few creepy garments...
A breeze billowed the trousers on this manakin.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
A breeze billowed the trousers on this manakin.
Sounds of wolves howling accompanied these ensembles.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
Sounds of wolves howling accompanied these ensembles.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
"Romantic Primitivism" shows--like it or not--how McQueen used the idea of the "noble savage" as inspiration.
More from
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
More from "Romantic Primitivism."
One of the show's rooms is a cabinet of curiosities, featuring fetishized accesories. Playing are eerie videos of runway models and robotic tape loops.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
One of the show's rooms is a cabinet of curiosities, featuring fetishized accesories. Playing are eerie videos of runway models and robotic tape loops.
An Alexander McQueen quote.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
An Alexander McQueen quote.
Also in the eerie boxed up room: this manikin.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
Also in the eerie boxed up room: this manikin.
Shoes!
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
Shoes!
Demi-manikins.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
Demi-manikins.
This was one of the more toned-down pieces in the show.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
This was one of the more toned-down pieces in the show.
Kate Middleton didn't wear this veil at her royal wedding, but she did wear a dress designed by Sarah Burton. Burton took over the House of McQueen after the designer died.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
Kate Middleton didn't wear this veil at her royal wedding, but she did wear a dress designed by Sarah Burton. Burton took over the House of McQueen after the designer died.
This piece was in McQueen's autumn/winter
This piece was in McQueen's autumn/winter "Widows of Culloden" show in 2006-07.
Next to the wild bridal veil was this frock of flowers.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
Next to the wild bridal veil was this frock of flowers.
The bottom of the dress.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
The bottom of the dress.
Kimono jackets and origami frock coats are on view in the show's
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
Kimono jackets and origami frock coats are on view in the show's "Romantic Exoticism" gallery.
The ensembles have mirrors surrounding them.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
The ensembles have mirrors surrounding them.
A lone white frock.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
A lone white frock.
The Met's show also includes some multimedia, like this six-inch hologram of Kate Moss on the runway. (Image does not to justice to the projection!)
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
The Met's show also includes some multimedia, like this six-inch hologram of Kate Moss on the runway. (Image does not to justice to the projection!)
McQueen pays homage to his roots: Scotland.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
McQueen pays homage to his roots: Scotland.
More Scottish tartans.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
More Scottish tartans.
This work is another ensemble from McQueen's
Photograph © Sølve Sundsbø / Art + Commerce, Courtesy of Metropolitan Museum
This work is another ensemble from McQueen's "Widows of Culloden" show from autum/winter 2006-07.
Included in the
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Included in the "Romantic Nationalism" section of the exhibit are these ensembles, called "Highland Rape."
Setting the stage for the McQueen gala on Monday night.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC
Setting the stage for the McQueen gala on Monday night.

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Comments [2]

F-Session from New York

I really impressed, thanks for sharing.. <a href="http://www.fsession.com/">Alexander McQueen</a>

Feb. 20 2014 07:04 AM
Mariangela from Boston, MA

I absolutely loved this exhibit. It was inspiring and nothing less than the work of a genius. The level of aesthetics he achieved in his short life was astounding and I'm sorry that we will no longer be able to benefit from any new creations of his.

Aug. 08 2011 12:51 AM

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