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Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Exhibition

Savage Beauty Exhibition (1)

Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Exhibition

May 4–August 7, 2011 at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The exhibition celebrates Alexander McQueen’s remarkable vision and creativity, showcasing his ingenious fashions as works of art. Comprising approximately 100 designs – including many rare examples of his early work – the exhibition’s selection largely draws upon the extensive Alexander McQueen Archive in London. The pieces were photographed by Sølve Sundsbø on models transformed to look like mannequins using a combination of makeup and technology.

Photography by Sølve Sundsbø, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For more information visit: www.metmuseum.org and blog.metmuseum.org

See more information & photos…

McQueen always started every collection with an idea or a concept for the runway presentation before the fashions. After the concept, he would have this elaborate sort of storyboard with these various references from art, from film, from music—his influences from everywhere. There’s a famous story about how he was watching Friendsone day, and Joey was wearing a green sweater, and Joey’s green sweater inspired an aspect of his collection. So he was such a sponge that inspiration came from everywhere. The actual creative process in terms of the clothes themselves were often designed directly on the mannequin during a fitting. So fittings, for McQueen, were incredibly important.

I think that McQueen saw life cinematically, and I think that that approach to life was something that you see very clearly on the runway. So his interest in extreme weather conditions was part of that sort of dramatic view of life. And I think that one of the reasons why he loved nature so much was because it was so unpredictable. They were spontaneous; it was something that one can never control, and I think that was always something he liked to show in his collections.

The exhibition, organized by The Costume Institute, celebrated the late Alexander McQueen’s extraordinary contributions to fashion. From his Central Saint Martins postgraduate collection of 1992 to his final runway presentation, which took place after his death in February 2010, Mr. McQueen challenged and expanded the understanding of fashion beyond utility to a conceptual expression of culture, politics, and identity. His iconic designs constitute the work of an artist whose medium of expression was fashion. The exhibition featured approximately one hundred ensembles and seventy accessories from Mr. McQueen’s prolific nineteen-year career. Drawn primarily from the Alexander McQueen Archive in London, with some pieces from the Givenchy Archive in Paris as well as private collections, signature designs including the “bumster” trouser, the kimono jacket, and the three-point “origami” frockcoat were on view. McQueen’s fashions often referenced the exaggerated silhouettes of the 1860s, 1880s, 1890s, and 1950s, but his technical ingenuity always imbued his designs with an innovative sensibility that kept him at the vanguard.

The exhibition was organized by Andrew Bolton, curator, with the support of Harold Koda, curator in charge, both of The Costume Institute. Sam Gainsbury and Joseph Bennett, the production designers for Alexander McQueen’s fashion shows, served as the exhibition’s creative director and production designer, respectively. All head treatments and masks were designed by Guido.

Dress, VOSS, Spring:Summer 2001 (1)
Dress, VOSS, Spring/Summer 2001

Dress, VOSS, Spring:Summer 2001 (2)
Dress, VOSS, Spring/Summer 2001

Coat, Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims (MA Graduation Collection), 1992
Coat, Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims (MA Graduation Collection), 1992

Dress, Plato’s Atlantis, Spring:Summer 2010
Dress, Plato’s Atlantis, Spring/Summer 2010

Jacket, Joan, Autumn:Winter 1998–99
Jacket, Joan, Autumn/Winter 1998–99

Jacket, It’s a Jungle Out There, Autumn:Winter 1997–98
Jacket, It’s a Jungle Out There, Autumn/Winter 1997–98

“Bumster” Skirt, Highland Rape, Autumn:Winter 1995–96
“Bumster” Skirt, Highland Rape, Autumn/Winter 1995–96

Coat, Dante, Autumn:Winter 1996–97
Coat, Dante, Autumn/Winter 1996–97

Dress, The Horn of Plenty, Autumn:Winter 2009–10
Dress, The Horn of Plenty, Autumn/Winter 2009–10

Ensemble, Eclect Dissect, Autumn:Winter 1997–98
Ensemble, Eclect Dissect, Autumn/Winter 1997–98

“Coiled” Corset, The Overlook, Autumn:Winter 1999–2000
“Coiled” Corset, The Overlook, Autumn/Winter 1999–2000

Corset, Dante, Autumn:Winter 1996–97
Corset, Dante, Autumn/Winter 1996–97

Ensemble, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Autumn:Winter 2002–3
Ensemble, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Autumn/Winter 2002–3

Ensemble, Autumn:Winter 2010–11
Ensemble, Autumn/Winter 2010–11

“Spine” Corset, Untitled, Spring:Summer 1998
“Spine” Corset, Untitled, Spring/Summer 1998

Ensemble, The Hunger, Spring:Summer 1996
Ensemble, The Hunger, Spring/Summer 1996

Dress, It’s Only a Game, Spring:Summer 2005
Dress, It’s Only a Game, Spring/Summer 2005

Ensemble, No. 13, Spring:Summer 1999
Ensemble, No. 13, Spring/Summer 1999

Ensemble, Widows of Culloden, Autumn:Winter 2006–7
Ensemble, Widows of Culloden, Autumn/Winter 2006–7

Dress, No. 13, Spring:Summer 1999
Dress, No. 13, Spring/Summer 1999

Dress, Widows of Culloden, Autumn:Winter 2006–7
Dress, Widows of Culloden, Autumn/Winter 2006–7

Ensemble, The Girl Who Lived in the Tree, Autumn:Winter 2008–9
Ensemble, The Girl Who Lived in the Tree, Autumn/Winter 2008–9

Dress, Highland Rape, Autumn:Winter 1995–96
Dress, Highland Rape, Autumn/Winter 1995–96

Suit, Highland Rape, Autumn:Winter 1995–96
Suit, Highland Rape, Autumn/Winter 1995–96

Ensemble, VOSS, Spring:Summer 2001
Ensemble, VOSS, Spring/Summer 2001

Ensemble, It’s Only a Game, Spring:Summer 2005
Ensemble, It’s Only a Game, Spring/Summer 2005

Dress, VOSS, Spring:Summer 2001 (3)
Dress, VOSS, Spring/Summer 2001

Coat, Eshu, Autumn:Winter 2000–2001
Coat, Eshu, Autumn/Winter 2000–2001

Dress, Eshu, Autumn:Winter 2000–2001
Dress, Eshu, Autumn/Winter 2000–2001

Ensemble, Eshu, Autumn:Winter 2000–2001
Ensemble, Eshu, Autumn/Winter 2000–2001

Bodysuit, It’s a Jungle Out There, Autumn:Winter 1997–98
Bodysuit, It’s a Jungle Out There, Autumn/Winter 1997–98

Ensemble, It’s a Jungle Out There, Autumn:Winter 1997–98
Ensemble, It’s a Jungle Out There, Autumn/Winter 1997–98

“Oyster” Dress, Irere, Spring:Summer 2003
“Oyster” Dress, Irere, Spring/Summer 2003

Dress, Sarabande, Spring:Summer 2007
Dress, Sarabande, Spring/Summer 2007

“Jellyfish” Ensemble, Plato’s Atlantis, Spring:Summer 2010
“Jellyfish” Ensemble, Plato’s Atlantis, Spring/Summer 2010

Savage Beauty Exhibition (2)

Savage Beauty Exhibition (3)

Savage Beauty Exhibition (4)

Savage Beauty Exhibition (5)

Savage Beauty Exhibition (6)

Savage Beauty Exhibition (7)

Source 1 / Source 2

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