The Side of McQueen the Public Didn't See This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

November 18, 2011
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My ideal way to spend a hot summer day is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. When the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibit opened last spring, I was one of the first in line. What I had assumed would be a mere fashion exhibit wound up altering my way of thinking. To me, fashion has always been an art, but the McQueen exhibit pointed out its deeper meaning. Many fail to see past the fabric and into the thought process held between the stitches of each beautiful garment, yet this exhibit revealed it all.

McQueen’s pieces were relevant to the cycle of nature, depicting the contrast between life and death through carefully selected colors and fabrics. The designer incorporated natural elements such as dried flowers and feathers to exaggerate the spontaneity of the natural world. Reading the displayed placards exposed just how far Americans go to assume the obvious. The designer’s Highland Rape line, commonly mistaken as a representation of cruelty toward humans, was actually an emotional rendition of England’s torturous relationship with Scotland circa the 18th century. However, the public was unable to interpret McQueen’s collection accurately.

I began to appreciate McQueen’s cleverness as I learned more about his artistic philosophy and untimely suicide. Surprisingly, the designer did not intend for his death to be a tragic event, but rather a beautiful end to the cycle of nature he was so desperately trying to depict.

Seeing McQueen’s designs in the flesh stimulated my senses and inspired me to create my own artwork in the same emotional manner as McQueen. Art does not have to be about the beauty of the finished product, but rather about the thought process entwined with the work’s creation and the unexpected learning experience it holds.





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