Sunday, May 8, 2011

Alexander McQueen Fashion Design Opens at the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City opened their stunning exhibit Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty which will run from May 4, 2011–July 31, 2011. McQueen's exquisite and provocative designs must be seen up close to appreciate the stunning craftsmanship and daring design details. McQueen, in addition to being the designer, was also an accomplished "cutter" who physically created many of the designs and had no fear of taking a pair of scissors to a design while it was on a model.

The exhibition, organized by The Costume Institute, celebrates the late Alexander McQueen's extraordinary contributions to fashion design. From his postgraduate collection of 1992 to his final runway presentation which took place after his death in February 2010, McQueen (Lee to his friends) 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 a designer whose medium of expression was fashion. Approximately one hundred examples are on view, including signature designs such as the bumster trouser (which exposes the top of the bum), the kimono jacket, and the Origami frock coat, as well as pieces reflecting the exaggerated silhouettes of the 1860s, 1880s, 1890s, and 1950s that he crafted into contemporary silhouettes transmitting romantic narratives. His technical ingenuity that imbued his designs with an innovative sensibility that kept him at fashion's vanguard can be seen close-up in exquisite detail in this exhibit.

Included in the exhibit is the hologram of Kate Moss (right) that wowed the audience during one of his spectacular runway shows. While the main work of a fashion designer is 3D fashion design, the runway shows requires the use of 4D spatial design, and, in McQueen's case 5D experience design as he introduces snow, rain, wind, sound effects, a runway covered in water, paint-spraying robots, and a variety of immersive design effects. As a result, it is important to see his runway shows on video (many are available on YouTube).

Click on the heading above to see one of the many videos of McQueens runway shows and take the time to explore others.

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