News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
December 3, 2016
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Events

Alexander McQueen Exhibit

By Alexandra Glorioso

Cabinet of Curiosities
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This exhibit ends Sun., Aug. 7. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, located in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, second floor, is free with Museum admission.

There will be a wait to enter the exhibition. But while you wait, there’s now a fun activity to pass the time. The new McQueen Line Trek: The Taming of the Queue is available to play via SCVNGR app or text message (see instructions [PDF]). The trek is also available in print form (download the PDF).

This exhibition may not be suitable for children under five years of age. Strollers are not permitted inside the exhibition.

See Plan Your Visit for Museum hours, directions, and admission information. Save time by purchasing general Museum admission in advance.

Video Transcript

I’m Andrew Bolton, the curator of the exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. I think the title “Savage Beauty” very much epitomizes the contrasting opposites in McQueen’s work. As you enter the exhibition, you’re faced with two mannequins—the two mannequins that I think represent many of the themes and ideas that McQueen revisited throughout his career: polarized opposites, whether it’s to do with life or death, lightness or darkness, predator/prey, man/machine.

The first gallery you enter is called “The Romantic Mind,” which is made out of concrete, in a way reflects the rawness of some of the clothes you see in the particular space. It’s inspired by McQueen’s first atelier in Hoxton Square, where McQueen established his house. McQueen trained in tailoring in Savile Row. McQueen was a remarkable craftsman. He was able to channel the skills of his craft, but also to use fashion as a vehicle to express very complex ideas and concepts. And I think in this particular exhibition, and in this gallery in particular, you see how McQueen would master the crafts of his trade and subvert them.

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 features 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 are 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.

Located in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, second floor, the exhibition is free with Museum admission. See Plan Your Visit for Museum hours, directions, and admission information.

The Museum will offer extended hours during the exhibition’s final week. On Thursday and Friday, August 4 and 5, the exhibition will be open until 9:00 p.m. On its last two days—Saturday and Sunday, August 6 and 7—the exhibition will remain open until midnight. After 9:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, visitors may enter the Museum through the 81st Street entrance only.

 

The Metropolitan Museum

1000 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

http://blog.metmuseum.org/alexandermcqueen

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