Wild Beauty is the title of the Costume Institute exhibit at the New York Metropolitan Museum, showcasing the best of designs from the original and acclaimed English couturier. And the name falls like a ring on your finger. Alexander McQueen, who passed away early last year, was a daring and irreverent designer who designed clothing for a strong, bold and somewhat mysterious woman. "I want to give women strength and power. I want people to come to fear the woman I wear, "said the designer in his day. The exhibition, which starts tomorrow and lasts until July 31, makes clear the genius of McQueen, not only in terms of the beauty and grandeur of his clothes, but in the rigorous technical construction of his dresses. Each garment forces us to go back, admire and sigh in the face of so much creativity.
But McQueen was not only great for his originality and talent as a seamstress, but also because he tested and expanded our conception of fashion beyond the usefulness of clothing, to a conceptual expression of culture, politics, his love for his Scottish heritage and his fascination with British history. "As a place of inspiration, Britain is the best in the world … its anarchy is an inspiration." It is the combination of all these things that have made him one of the greatest designers of all time. It is no surprise, then, that this brand, now under the baton of designer Sarah Burton, was chosen to make the dress for the new Duchess of Cambridge last week.
The exhibition celebrates McQueen's extraordinary contributions to the world of fashion, from the collection with which he graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1992, to his last show just after his death. "Alexander McQueen was known for his outlandish parades, which were presented on dramatic stages and with narrative structures that demanded cutting-edge installations and performance art," said Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute. "His fashion was like an escape for his emotions, an expression of the deepest and darkest aspects of the imagination."