Final Days to See “Savage Beauty” Exhibit on Alexander McQueen

This is the final week to see the spectacular McQueen exhibit currently on display at the Met, and the museum is planning to stay open until midnight on Aug. 6 and 7 to accommodate visitors.

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This is the final week to see the spectacular McQueen exhibit currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, and the museum is planning to stay open until midnight on Aug. 6 and 7 to accommodate visitors. The exhibit features some of the designer's most spectacular works, beginning with this jaw-dropping red dress, complete with feathered skirt.
The second piece to greet visitors to the exhibit is equally staggering: an ensemble covered from throat-to-toes in shells.
The first room is a testament to McQueen's expertise in Savile Row tailoring, as well as his knack for pushing boundaries. His iconic "bumster trousers" from his Autumn/Winter 1995-1996 collection highlighted what the designer considered "the most erotic part of anyone's body" -- the bottom of the spine.
Military-inspired separates from the Dante collection, AW 1994-95. A quote from McQueen indicates: "I spent a long time learning to construct clothes, which is important to do before you deconstruct them."
A spectacular brocade wrap from the What a Merry-Go-Round collection, Autumn/Winter 2001-02.
A strong-shouldered jacket from the It's a Jungle Out There collection, Autumn/Winter 1997-98, features a Hieronymus Bosch print.
More tailored separates featuring wildly original prints.
There are an amazing array of pieces from McQueen's tenure at Givenchy, as well. Here, a selection from the 1997-98 haute couture collection called "Eclect Dissect." As a note from McQueen indicates: "My idea was this mad scientist who cut all these women up and then mixed them all back together."
A macabre figure from the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious collection, Autumn/Winter 2002-03.
Another dark look in lace from the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious collection, Autumn/Winter 2002-03.
A gilded box houses McQueen's luminous final collection, for Autumn/Winter 2010-11. A note indicates that McQueen said, "I relate more to that cold, austere asceticism of the Flemish masters."
One of the most jaw-dropping rooms features a selection of the various props, hats, and accessories featured in McQueen's collections over the years.
McQueen's accessories were wildly diverse -- from silver spines and jaw bones to feathered hats by his frequent collaborator, Philip Treacy.
This Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen's "La Dame Bleue" collection (Spring/Summer, 2008) is actually composed of turkey feathers printed and shaped like a swarm of butterflies.
Another vest is composed of countless mussel shells.
Then, of course, there are McQueen's famous taste in towering shoes: These platforms have a certain anatomical, spine-like element.
Another section of the exhibit is dedicated to McQueen's love of his mother country. Scotland. In the Widows of Culloden collection, Autumn/Winter 2006-07, the designer made strong use of the iconic red tartan plaid.
An partner collection called The Girl who Lived in the Tree, from Autumn/Winter 2008-09, has an accompanying quote from McQueen: "The reason I'm patriotic about Scotland is because I think it's been dealt a really hard hand. It's marketed all over the world as ... haggis ... bagpipes. But no one ever puts anything back into it."
A demon-like figure from The Girl who Lived in the Tree collection, Autumn/Winter 2008-09.
McQueen's infamous Highland Rape collection, Autumn/Winter 1995-96, gets its own room as well. A note indicates McQueen discussing the collection: "Highland Rape was a shout against English designers ... doing flamboyant Scottish clothes. My father's family originates from the Isle of Skye, and I'd studied the history of the Scottish upheavals and the Clearances. People were so unintelligent thy thought this was about women being raped -- yet Highland Rape was about England's rape of Scotland."
A dazzling look featuring brocade fabrics and shells from It's Only a Game, Spring/Summer 2005.
Slightly tattered figures from the Voss collection, Spring/Summer 2001.
Voss collection, Spring/Summer 2001.
McQueen played a lot with silhouettes, often in striking exaggerations, like in this Sarabande collection dress from 2007.
Another Sarabande piece from 2007 features a kind of bride figure, wearing antlers and draped in white lace.
The exhibit's climax is one of McQueen's most buzzed-over collections, Plato's Atlantis, from Spring/Summer 2010. As McQueen said: "Plato's Atlantis predicted a future in which the ice cap would melt ... the waters would rise ... and life on earth would have to evolve in order to lie beneath the sea once more or perish ... Humanity would go back whence it came."
The details on some of the ensembles from the collection are just staggering, and of course, it provides visitors with a close-up of the much-discussed armadillo-alien platform shoes.
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