“When I’m dead and gone, people will know that the twenty-first century was started by Alexander McQueen.” The Metropolitan Museum recently launched its Alexander McQueen retrospective, "Savage Beauty", and The New Yorker published a great article by Judith Thurman in relation to the exhibit. The article gives a good overview of the exhibit itself, of course, but its real value lies in offering an overview of McQueen himself, and of his impact on the world of fashion. Thurman offers a high-level biography of the late McQueen, from his upbringing to his early days at college and on Savile Row to his suicide early last year, speculating on the influence some of the more momentous events in his life might have had on his art. (Particularly interesting was Thurman's observation that McQueen's "puberty coincided with the explosion of AIDS, which is to say that he was forced to witness a primal scene that haunted the youth of his generation: sex and death in the same bed.")
Alexander McQueen as a label has never been one of my favourites, as far as the men's line is concerned; I think his best work has always been womenswear, and most of his pieces that do appeal to me ruin themselves by being adorned in skulls, something I try to leave for those who enjoy wearing the likes of Affliction. Sarah Burton took over for McQueen upon his death, and seems to be taking the line in a more favourable direction as far as my personal style is concerned. That being said, I appreciate McQueen's work as the art it is. Nobody can deny the sheer bravado and originality of the man's shows, and based on Thurman's article it seems that Savage Beauty captures this well. I'll be heading to New York in July, and will definitely be checking out the exhibit when I head over to the Met.
source: The New Yorker