Thursday, February 11, 2010

All Hail Mr. McQueen, A Creative Genius Who Will Be Sorely Missed



Dress, spring/summer 2003
Alexander McQueen (British, born 1969)
Shredded ivory silk chiffon and tiered silk organza
 Purchase, Gould Family Foundation Gift, 2003 (2003.462)

British designer Alexander McQueen has been hailed for his challenging perceptions of the role of fashion in political, social, and cultural criticism. His collections are often cohesive thematic interpretations, alluding to dramatic media events (the "Highland Rape," a 1996 runway consortium of tattered dresses and bloody catwalkers) as much as aesthetic or artistic movements. Credited alongside peers such as John Galliano with the return of artistry to couture in the 1990s, McQueen is one of the most conceptual fashion créateurs to clothe the runway in the early twenty-first century and continues to be celebrated for his love of tactile exploration and dramatic visual representations.

A number of gowns in Alexander McQueen's "Transitions" collection of spring/summer 2003 appear to be poetic renderings of a disaster at sea. While a similar dress appeared colored like the plumage of a tropical bird, this gown of sand-colored organza recalls the mille-feuille ridging on the surface of a shell. The hem of the skirt, like the wavy lip of a giant mollusk, further emphasizes the seashell quality of the gown. But unlike Aphrodite, who was born in the foam of the sea and borne to shore on a scallop, McQueen's beauty is a bruised pearl encased in a deconstructing oyster, the tumbled survivor of the violent action of waves.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York




maison21 said...

he was a genius.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Your post is so thorough Jaime & you chose great photos and videos. I am in awe of his genius with each collection and the inspiration behind them. It was not enough to just design the clothing, he wrapped it all up in one amazing message. His unorthodox, rebellious side to fashion will be missed by those like me that tend to appreciate those that walk a different path. Great post my dear xoxo

Haven and Home said...

It is so sad when such a creative force is gone, it leaves a hole, he will be missed.

Ragland Hill Social by Gwen Driscoll said...

So very sad about this. Thanks for the thorough post. Have a great weekend.

Valerie Wills Interiors said...

What makes him so so special (to me) is that he came from a working class family in the East End of London.... he Dad was a taxi driver. He worked his way up to the top by his sheer talent... first working at a suit makers in Saville Row. It was very sad to hear about his passing.... I think he just couldn't cope with having just lost his Mom.


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