Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is a new exhibition being housed in the Metropolitan Musuem of Art in New York, organised by the  Costume’s Institute.

The exhibition is being held to commemorate the late designers outstanding contribution to the Fashion world during his illustrious career.  

The exhibit will cover nearly 20 years worth of work from the four time British Designer of the Year winner, beginning with his MA work during his time at Central St Martins, continuing into his run as creative director at Givenchy and then culminating in the barrier breaking designs created under his own label, including his last collection shown in Paris after his death.

The accompanying catalogue is a stunning visual in itself, with many of his works being showcased and shot by renowned photographer Sølve Sundsbø. What is truly remarkable about these shots is that on first glance they seem to be modeled on mannequins, however, they were infect shot on real models and then digitally altered to appear as mannequins, therefore enabling the designs to be showcased in the editorial way they were meant to be seen. The models apparently had lengths of string tied around their joints to make it appear as if they are the joints on a mannequin.

The images are intertwined with quotes form the late designer, which illustrate his thought processes when it comes to his work and ideas behind each design. McQueen was truly an artist, who simply chose to express his innovations through the art of fashion. His works challenged the norm in the design world, it defied convention, it took clothes to level of self-expression, encapsulating the political, cultural and the everyday.

I have always been such an admirer of his incredible work for this exact reason, the message, the show and the implementation. To watch his runway shows was to loose ones breath for a second, the power and authority the clothes would hold. You are forced into submission, to watch and listen. Each show was a master class in design, both in the clothes themselves as well as the technical side of the presentation, a side that again elevated the world of fashion into performance art.

McQueen himself, summed up exactly how I view his work:  

“I want to empower women. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress”, “People find my things sometimes aggressive. But I don’t see it as aggressive. I see it as romantic, dealing with the dark side of personality”, and ‘There is no way back for me now. I am going to take you on journeys you’ve never dreamed were possible.”

(Quote taken from The Daily Telegraph article by Hilary Alexander http://t.co/MqZ5UvQ )

For more images from the exhibit visit the guardian website at http://gu.com/p/2na9m

The exhibit runs from 4th May to 31st July 2011 in New York – if you’re there, don’t miss out.

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Written by Neil Thornton
London-based coffee drinker. Editor by day, blogger by whatever time he finds spare.