Alexander McQueen Exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Contributing Writer Jennifer Eberhart reports on the Alexander McQueen Exhibit taking place at The Met Despite his tragic death last year, his name continues to send tingles down the spines of fashion lovers across the globe. His designs have made headlines – from Lady Gaga tripping on her Armadillo shoes, to the magnificent gown worn by the newly-crowned Princess Kate on her wedding day. From a hat full of butterflies to a gilt-encrusted coat of feathers, the designs that were created from the studio McQueen are unique, enchanting and romantic.

The Exhibit

The subject of a new exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, McQueen’s designs span a 19-year-career that proves from the beginning just how talented the late creative genius was. With the help of current design leader Sarah Burton, curator Andrew Bolton transformed the Met’s gallery space into a breathtaking reproduction of McQueen’s shows. Taking the visitor inside the mind of the spontaneous designer, the show, entitled Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, focuses on the Romantic ideals that he embodied. Be it a dark forest, a music box, an enchanted castle, or a room full of mirrors, each space in the exhibition represents the beauty of these intricate ensembles.

Captain of His Own Soul

Never one for following the rules, McQueen’s entire career is highlighted, from his “origami frockcoat” in Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims (1992) to the ravaged dresses in Highland Rape (1995), to the nature-inspired short dresses in his last collection, Plato’s Atlantis (2010). Over 100 ensembles are displayed: backless dresses, super-low pants, uneven jackets, feathered coats, wired hats. Despite the eccentric tastes of the designer, each piece is a testament to the beauty and power of the female body.

Keeping Up With the Times

Bolton uses technology throughout the exhibition as well: a dynamic audio guide adds personal notes to the show, even highlighting some of the model’s experiences; videos of McQueen’s famously extravagant fashion shows are interspersed throughout the show and Vogue has created an iPad application specifically for the exhibit. A catalog also accompanies the exhibit, with never-before-seen photos of McQueen’s intricate designs.

Why We Love McQueen

It was McQueen’s hope that through his clothing he would be able to empower women, to inspire them, instill confidence. Savage Beauty proves exactly that, and what I wouldn’t give to land myself in one of those dark yet beautiful dresses and shoes!

Opening at The Met

The Met celebrated the opening of Savage Beauty this Monday, May 2, with their annual Costume Institute Gala, to which Salma Hayek, Sarah Jessica Parker, Naomi Campbell, and Gisele Bundchen donned their favorite McQueen outfits. The event, and the exhibition, is a toast to one of the greatest designers of all time.

Take a step into the savage beauty of Alexander McQueen and his designs, on view May 4 through July 31. -Jennifer