The subtlety in Savage Beauty

The costume department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, is currently holding a retrospective of the work of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen. The exhibition spans his career from the early 1990s to early 2010.

The lines to get in are long. It can take up to 30 minutes to get into the show. But Savage Beauty is well worth it. The Met has gone all out, designing rooms especially for the exhibit: one with aged mirrors, another composed of black box-like containers, and another with walls concrete walls. There is also a hologram and art-type, abstract, surreal movies.

The theatrical backdrop works well for McQueen’s fashion, especially the highly embroidered, highly decorative pieces, such as the floral applique dress and the black leather, fabric, and feather outfits. However, McQueen’s genius also lay in the more subtle, especially his ability to exploit his expert understanding of tailoring, and how clothing works on the body. While enjoying the theatrical aspect of the show, to appreciate McQueen’s more sensitive side, those visiting should also note the cut of his garments.

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