While visiting New York City, I finally had the opportunity to mousy on over to the Alexander McQueen 'Savage Beauty' exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Unfortunately, photography wasn't allowed inside. Luckily, I snatched up this wonderful book to provide visual eye-candy for everyone. Mind you, nothing compares to seeing the real thing up close and personal but I'll try my very best to explain it. I still suggest that everyone go themselves, especially since it's been extended until August. It moved me in so many ways and is truly one of the best I will ever live to see.
The Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibit wasn't about how "fashion" everything was but something deeper; something much more personal. Not once did it strike me that the pieces were merely garments, something to casually throw on for a dinner party. Not like I attend dinner parties where I can casually throw on a $2, 000 dress but that's neither here nor there. The point is that each one is a work of art, comparable to Van Gogh, holding weight and substance which had the ability to shake your bones.
What stuck out like a sore thumb was the darkness. It was woven into the garments; beaded, sewn and embedded for a lifetime. The wave of emotion would begin as tiny goosebumps on your arms and end at the curling of your toes. However, it wasn't because of his death. No, it was the clothing that would evoke such sentiment. Each one was a window into the tortured soul of McQueen, and coming face to face with it was a terrifying spectacle.
The garments were never lifeless but instead, each mannequin appeared real. Have you ever walked by a store window and had that feeling? Never. The clothes were wearing the plastic casings; not the other way around and that's where the real magic lies. It had you believe in something that wasn't tangible, and allured tales of wonder and beauty that were only known in fairy tales. Each dress, headpiece and shoe were from the imaginations stifled in our adolescent years.
It had the ability to break the child inside.
And yet, the blinding fascination wasn't the clothes themselves but the mystery behind Lee Alexander McQueen. Who was he? No amount of interviews, articles or books could ever answer that question quite like these pieces on display. You can see the sweat, blood, tears but most importantly, the love that went into each one. These collections aren't fashion and maybe not even art.
It's something more.
Even behind the darkness and chaos, McQueen successfully captured beauty and romance. There was pain and suffering but so much warmth and hope. The yearning to see the light amidst the dark. It's hard to summarize something that will continue to linger for decades to come, but it's impossible to deny the genius that was Alexander McQueen.