Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. What can you say about a Man who changed the face of fashion?

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Danielle and I were really excited to have the opportunity to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit in New York last week, but when we arrived at the Met we were pretty sure that it just wasn't meant to be.  After buying our tickets we remarked at how quiet it was until we ran smack into a line that snaked around the perimeter of the museum, breaking only to continue in another room, and another. We were devastated.  We'd waited so long to see the exhibit and we'd run out of time - our plane was leaving for Vancouver the next morning. Now please don't hate me for what followed this realization.  We asked an official looking man who was hanging about how long the line was and he told us that we were looking at a good 4.5 hours; he told us that if we came back the following day when the museum opened that our chances would be a lot better.  That wouldn't work for us, we told him, as we had to go home.  Detecting a "foreign" accent, he asked us where we were from.  "Vancouver, Canada", we replied in unison.  He glanced sideways and took a piece of paper out of his pocket. "I have family from Canada", he said, "and I feel a certain obligation", he continued.  He wrote something down on the paper, handed it to us and told us to take it to the front of the line.  We were incredulous.  We thanked him profusely and made our way to the most inspirational exhibit we've ever seen.

From the moment we walked in it became clear that it would be a highly visceral experience. The thematically rich exhibition was divided into six different sections: The Romantic Mind, which featured some of his oldest work in the early 90s, Romantic Gothic and the Cabinet of Curiosities, Romantic Nationalism, Romantic Exoticism, Romantic Primitivism and Romantic Naturalism.  Ideally I would have spent the day there but the crowds were pretty overwhelming.  We were able, however, to get up close to most of the pieces to admire their intricacies though I resisted the urge to reach out and touch.  I didn't expect to have such an emotional reaction, but by the time I was halfway through the final room I was overcome with sadness at the loss of such a talent.  I highly suggest that you pick up a copy of the hardcover book that accompanied the exhibition - it's filled with photos, quotes and all things brilliantly McQueen. By the time I bought mine it was already in its 4th printing.

 

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