Savage Beauty (Interrupted)

I just got back from an amazing weekend in New York, so there will be a few blog posts this week on that trip.

One of the main reason I went to NY this weekend was to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met, which I did this morning.

McQueen ethereal
gray and white silk printed organza

But yesterday, my friend Emilia and I went on a walking chocolate tour. It was great and we really loved it. We got to taste chocolates at five different places, including Neuhaus, Lily O’Brien’s, La Maison du Chocolat, 5th Avenue Chocolatiere, Charbonnel & Walker.

While we were at La Maison du Chocolat, we saw on Twitter that Amy Winehouse had died. The location was a bit fitting since the first word that came to my mind when I heard the news was “bittersweet.” It’s always sad when someone so talented just self-destructs. No matter how talented and loved you are, anyone can sink into a dark morass of hopelessness.

As I rolled the chocolate on my tongue, I thought how sad it was that she couldn’t find pleasure in such a simple thing.

I remember having a similar bittersweet thought when I first heard that Alexander McQueen had killed himself. What a waste. And how cruel. Both of them took their talent away from the world. But in the case of McQueen, it’s particularly bittersweet because he was creating up until the end, while Winehouse really wasn’t. And the Met exhibit continued that bittersweet theme. As much as I loved every piece (and I really, really did), it just reinforced the fact that this is it. There will never be any more. This is the universe of his talent, and it’s far too small of a universe.

While I loved everything, there were a lot of standouts, particularly from his last two seasons, Platos Atlantis, and the half-finished Angels and Demons. My very favorite piece is this dress with gold-painted duck feathers from Angels and Demons. It was so amazing in person.

gold feathers

In fact, he had a lot of truly amazing feather dresses, including this crazy one made of teeny-tiny pheasant feathers.


One of my favorite seasons wasn’t really represented. I love the 2004 Deliverance show which was based on the Sydney Pollack movie “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?” It’s staged as an old fashioned dance marathon full of desperation where the contestants fall off one by one from exhaustion. The choreagraphy by Michael Clark was amazing. And the first and last dress are almost the same except the sequins: on the first dress, they’re new, on the last dress, they’re tarnished and the dress is unravelling like the contestants had both physically and emotionally. It is an amazing show.


Overall, it was an amazing exhibit. A lot of McQueen’s quintessential shows are represented, including Voss, Highland Rape, Widows of Culloden and It’s Only a Game. Two video elements were truly transfixing: Shalom Harlow being sprayed by robots in No. 13.

No. 13

And, of course, the hologram of Kate Moss in ivory silk organza in the Widows of Culledon show. They also had the actual dress and it’s interesting to see how he returned to this material and layered unfinished ethereal quality again and again.

Kate Moss

There is so, so much more I could say. I’m realizing that I only covered the light, flowy clothes when there were some amazing romatic gothic pieces that were just breathtaking as well. The only thing to do is to see the show! I’m hoping it tours and comes to DC because I would definitely be willing to stand in line (1.5 hours this morning and we got there right when the Met opened) and put up with the crush of the crowd all over again.

Tomorrow: Perhaps a Yertle post??

2 thoughts on “Savage Beauty (Interrupted)

Leave a Reply