The Exhibitionist | Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Blockbusters are not solely relegated to Hollywood films, museums can from time to time nip the greater cultural consciousness, too, with exhibitions.

Currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is breaking records far and wide (it’s even outnumbering the record held by Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years, the reigning fashion exhibition blockbuster to date. Who wants to wait 1 hour to get in?).

Exhibiting the work of a recently deceased fashion genius/darling can be taxing, if not unwieldy, due to the emotional connections people may have with the designer. In addition, how to evaluate the creator’s oeuvre and place it within ‘the big picture’ of fashion history?

McQueen was heralded for his tailoring prowess,  but after viewing this exhibit, one might also think of him as a master embroiderer and a creative madman who designed incredible accessories to top his garments. The visible cornucopia of historical references is a feast, and the variety of skills on display is Herculean.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is by all account a well-thought-out luxurious exhibition designed and manicured to perfection. The sets not only complement and enhance the selected works on display –they allow the viewers to enter the McQueen realm, a place between fantasy and reality.

I personally don’t see much romanticism in McQueen’s corpus, or the man himself for that matter, but instead a strong “English Gothic” onslaught. The sets and clothing selection bring Horace Walpole’s fantasy to life in the 21st century.

Alexander McQueen’s genius is undisputed, as is his impact on fashion and  the cultural lexicon of our generation.  So if you plan to be in New York anytime this summer allow yourself some time and treat yourself to an afternoon of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty!

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