If You See a Single Museum Exhibit This Summer, Let It Be This One
It's officialNew York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has the hottest museum exhibit for Summer 2011: Alexander McQueen: "Savage Beauty." The first week of crowds alone could beat entire visitor counts for other museums, as the Met welcomed 5,100 on opening day last Wednesday, which rose to 12,000 Saturday alone. It's even totally killed past exhibitions of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis' clothing and vintage Chanel.
So why should you go? Well, because it's really as great as all the hype says it is. Actually, we'd argue that the exhibit is under-hyped. Over 100 pieces of the late McQueen's work is on display, including a 3D hologram of Kate Moss once used in one of his runway shows. Plus not to mention that McQueen was one of the rare modern geniuses who did well commercially. Often you'll hear the general complaint that there is no more fashion left to create; McQueen was one of the few designers to thrash that belief to pieces as he turned out entirely new silhouettes, experimented with garment technology and still enhanced a woman's natural beauty. As you can probably tell, we're big fans of his.
In a tragic turn, Alexander killed himself last year, seemingly putting a period to his tortured reign as a young king of couture. A designer, Sarah Burton, was promoted from within the McQueen studio to head it as designer in McQueen's stead, and in a bittersweet turn, she's carried the label and brand to new heights as the one behind the royal wedding dress of Kate Middleton (plus Pippa's bridesmaid frock).
For such a relatively young label, Alexander McQueen has the tumultuous history, extremely unique designs and brilliance that warrants its own Met exhibit. We recommend going on a weekday to avoid waits and crowding. Truly, you have to see it to understand its importance.
Alexander McQueen: "Savage Beauty" will be on display from May 4, 2011–July 31, 2011. Tickets to the Metropolitan Museum of Art are $20 and include all special exhibitions.