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Fashion Law Institute Diary: Event Day 4

17 June 2011 No Comment

Long Lines for McQueen Exhibit

McQueen Exhibit Attracts New Audience to Fashion:

“What I do is an artistic expression of that which is channeled through me. Fashion is just the medium.” –Alexander McQueen

I finally visited the “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” costume exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was absolutely breathtaking, focusing on McQueen’s fascinating showmanship and his remarkable techniques.

The exhibit is divided into six themes that are distinctive of Mr. McQueen’s work: the romantic mind, romantic gothic, romantic nationalism, romantic exoticism, romantic primitivism, and romantic naturalism. It features fine tailored smoking jackets, explores the interplay of opposites like life and death, or lightness and darkness, shows his fascination with other cultures, and reveals McQueen’s use materials from nature.

As I examined the clothes closely, I could see the difficult work performed on each dress or coat. He manipulated feathers, horns, wood, glass, flowers, horsehair and shells into coverings for the female form. Mollusk shells became a corset, feathers became a skirt, a jawbone became jewelry. Above the displays, videos from the dramatic McQueen shows run continuously. Those who argue fashion only serves a utilitarian purpose may change their mind after leaving Savage Beauty. McQueen was clearly an artist who just happened to work with fabric.

To anyone who might be passing through New York City, even for a day: do not miss this exhibit, the experience will stay with you forever.

Danielle Phillips

Fashion Law Contributor

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