Saturday, 21 May 2011

McQueen's Savage Mind

Alexander McQueen, who died one week before last year's London Fashion Week, is to be honoured with a retrospective of his work at New York's Metropolitan Museum in May.
US Vogue's Anna Wintour and PM's wife Samantha Cameron both attended a launch event at the Ritz hotel in London earlier this week - coincidentally the same venue for McQueen's first post-graduate collection in 1993, entitled Taxi Driver. Mannequins clad in some of his most innovative and beautiful creations were on display at the launch and press conference, including the tartan dress from his provocative Highland Rape collection and a small-scale projection of the Kate Moss hologram from his 2006 ready-to-wear collection - where a puff of white smoke appeared in an empty glass pyramid, spinning in midair, slowly resolving into the shape of Moss in a billowing white dress. This feat of techno magic was the designer's own homage to the supermodel after her cocaine scandal rocked the fashion industry in 2006.
The 100-piece exhibition, entitled The Savage Mind will be arranged thematically featuring examples of McQueen's work over his 19-year career, right up to his posthumous Angels & Demons collection shown in Paris last year; a collection which channelled his vision of Gothic glory bathed in religious symbolism that Suzy Menkes of The New York Times called "a requiem for a great designer". The exhibition will also examine McQueen's unique twist on traditional tailoring and his recurring obsession with death, decay and darkness.
Thomas Campbell, director of the Met, said of the exhibition, "His work fits so easily within the discourse of art. "He can be considered no less than an artist whose medium of expression was fashion."
Andrew Bolton, curator of the mets Costume Institute said, "His fashions were an outlet for his emotions, an expression of the deepest, often darkest, aspects of his imagination. He was a true romantic in the Byronic sense of the word – he channelled the sublime."
Designer Stella McCartney will co-chair the exhibition and Sarah Burton, who worked alongside McQueen for 14 years and now sits at the helm of the label as creative director, was also present at the launch. The exhibition will run from 4 May to 31 July in New York with a gala launch on 2 May which will no doubt attract many of the celebrities who wore his creations.


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