Inside glimpse of Alexander McQueen’s ‘Savage Beauty’ exhibit
For all those fans who have been waiting out there: The Telegraph has gotten its hands on the catalog of Alexander McQueen’s upcoming exhibit at The Costume Institute, “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.”
This is no typical art exhibition catalog. The front of the tome features a holograph that has been termed “haunting” and “mesmerizing,” and the second page reveals a portrait by Gary James McQueen that transforms before the eyes into a ghostly skull. The portrait echoes the theme of the exhibit’s name, Savage Beauty, and McQueen’s double nature.
The book, of course, also contains an inside look at some of the designs to be showcased. The meat of the exhibition will be more than 20 years of McQueen’s disturbing yet brilliant work, from his graduate collection to his final line.
Flipping through the pages displays photographs from varied collections such as “Dante,” “Highland Rape,” “Jungle,” “The Birds,” and “Plato's Atlantis,” juxtaposed with quotes from McQueen.
The images, at first glance, seem to be shots of mannequins; however, in actuality, the photos were retouched pictures of models made to appear like mannequins. McQueen’s personality and attitudes are revealed in quotations such as “I like to think of myself as a plastic surgeon with a knife” and “I want to empower women. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress.”
McQueen, until his death by suicide in 2010, was one the most influential and provocative designers of his time. His runway shows were not simply lavish, but often macabre, presenting fashion as performance art. His clothing served as a vehicle to address contemporary issues of race, class and gender, as well as our future as a planet.
“McQueen had such a singular voice and he was a remarkable technician,” Andrew Bolton, who curated the exhibit, told The Telegraph. “He really was one of the most provocative voices of the past 30 years in fashion.”
The exhibition starts with the annual Costume Institute Benefit Gala, also referred to as the Met Ball, on May 2, and will be open for general viewing from May 4 to July 31 at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. For more information, visit www.metmuseum.org.