Wednesday, June 15, 2011

McQueen's Reigning Exhibit at The Met

Image pulled from The Met's website.

I cannot even begin to explain the influence this exhibit of Alexander McQueen at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC has had on me. I am still reeling two weeks later from seeing it. 

I was able to go with my dear friend Jessica Cadmus of The Wardrobe Whisperer and her adorable baby. Let me say, I had no idea how hot it was going to be that day or what mothers, who live in NYC, have to go through with traveling by subway. It was no easy feat to make it to and from the museum. Jessica and baby were tough troopers and despite the craziness, I was so happy to go with them. Jessica is an amazing stylist, personal shopper, and fashion blogger. The whole ride to and from on the rockin' subway, while delicately feeding her baby, she dispensed wardrobe advice to me. I now have my summer look all planned out!

Image pulled from The Met's website.

We were lucky that we showed up to the museum mid week and early in the day. As we made our way through the museum, we started to see signs that denoted lengths of wait- 1 hour, 30 min, 15 min, etc. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait at all and breezed right in. By the time we made our way through the exhibit it was getting crowded. The show has been so successful The Met has decided to extend it through August and are opening the museum on Mondays with a $50 ticket for special viewings of the exhibit. I'm trying to figure out how I can swing going back for a Monday viewing...

Image pulled from The Met's website.

It has taken me so long to post about this exhibit because I am still processing everything that I saw. Alexander McQueen was exceptionally gifted and its a shame he decided to take his own life. His career spanned 19 years and I can only imagine the work he would have produced if he had given himself another 19.

His body of work is profound. The Met did an excellent job of transforming the galleries to suit his clothing. I can't imagine the money they spent to produce this show. While the environment was spot on, McQueen's work vibrated throughout the galleries. What was so overwhelming to me was his ability to evoke emotion through garments. Its something I have never experienced before. 

When I look at fashion, I think about how clothing is used to express a person's personality. With haute couture, I mostly look at how beautiful the clothing is, how well it is made, and how it fits the wearer's body. The clothing is usually secondary to the person wearing it. The combination of clothing is what expresses the personality. I have never felt a piece of clothing to stand alone and inspire emotion. Somehow, Alexander McQueen did it. When I walked around the exhibit, I would look at a piece and feel anger, death, betrayal, serenity,... It was overwhelming and thoroughly inspiring.

In addition, the craftsmanship of the pieces are amazing. McQueen started his career on Savill Row as a tailor. The details of the stitching, the placement of a lapel, his use of materials was perfect and inventive. McQueen understood construction and material. What he was able to do with leather, fabric, and wood is incredibly impressive.

I left the show all fired up. I was reminded of what I have wanted my work to be to people. Like McQueen, not only do I want it to be well made, I want it to evoke emotion in the viewer. If you happen to be in NYC now through August 7th, check out the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.