Sunday, July 31, 2011

Alexander McQueen at the Met

Just came back from the Alexander McQueen show at the Metropolitan Museum. This has been a surprising blockbuster exhibit, the biggest in the museum's history. Over half a million people have attended this show which ends on August 7th. The wife and I were able to get in this morning through a special member's entry time and entrance. Our membership has never felt so cheap because, on the way out, the lines were literally wrapping around the second floor with 2 hour waits. I've never seen anything like it in the twenty-odd years that I've been going to the Met. 

But enough about the hype.

Alexander McQueen was a brilliant fashion designer who, tragically, killed himself last year. I'll admit that I've never been a big fashion guy and knew nothing of McQueen's work. Yet I  can honestly say that I've never seen an exhibit quite like this. McQueen's designed clothes that seem to have been influenced by various styles and put together in totally original ways. His works are Asian, Venetian, and British -- all at the same time. Many of his clothes have a sadomasochistic theme (but not in a gross way). He designed shoes that look like they've been carved out of Chinese ivory. His work is that of a wild, brilliant imagination that is, at the same time, amazingly disciplined and intelligent.

McQueen also brought history and literature into his designs. (There are images of Jesus on them, for example.) His works have wonderfully descriptive names like Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims and Nihilism and Dante. There is also an an incredible hologram exhibit as well as, of all things, a Faberge egg. It's really a crazy, fun show and I can understand why it's become so popular.

There isn't much time left so go as quickly as you can. It's a once in a decade kind of exhibit and, sadly, is probably the last big McQueen one that will ever be staged.   

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