Tribute to one of the most fascinating fashion creators of the 20th century, The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art dedicates an exhibition to Alexander McQueen. It is called Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty.
Alexander McQueen was a British designer and couturier known for his knowledge of british tailoring, his aim to blend female strenght and fragile sensuality. From his catwalks we could feel an extreme emotional power emanating from his provocative shows.
He is known for having worked as master designer at Givenchy from 1996 to 2001. I remember when I was working for this brand that he started the revamp of the french brand by introducing the british twist. It was not a success and in 2001, at the end of his contract, he decided to follow his own path. In 2000, the Gucci group takes over 51% of Alexander McQueen Brand and decides to develop stores around the world, Fragrances and accessories.
Alexander McQueen had a lot of celebrities friends, like the Icelandic singer Björk. She sought McQueen’s work for the cover of her album Homogenic in 1997. Years later, artists like Bjork, Lady Gaga or Ayumi Hamasaki used several pieces in their music videos. By wearing his designs, celebrities such as the above mentioned have further increased the notability of the McQueen brand.
McQueen’s runway collections developed his reputation for controversy and provocation, earning the title of “the hooligan of british fashion”. McQueen also became known for using skulls in his designs. A scarf bearing the motif became a celebrity must-have and was copied around the world. He brought drama and extravagance to the catwalk and he used technology and innovation to push the boundaries of creation.
According to The Met, the exhibition, organized by The Costume Institute, celebrates 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 will feature 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” frock coat will be 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 is 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 are designed by Guido.
THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM FOR MODERN ART
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, second floor
From May 4th to August 7, 2011.
There is also a book called Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty. Published to coincide with an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art this stunning book includes a preface by Andrew Bolton; an introduction by Susannah Frankel; an interview by Tim Blanks with Sarah Burton, creative director of the house of Alexander McQueen; illuminating quotes from the designer himself; provocative and captivating new photography by renowned photographer Sølve Sundsbø; and a lenticular cover by Gary James McQueen.
sources: wikipedia, metmuseum.com, AlexanderMcQueen