Like so many people last year, I had the chance to view the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit on Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty. I waited in line with two of my best friends Molly and Rachel for nearly two hours to endure half on hour of a beautifully emotional journey through the career of one our century’s greatest artists. Yes, I use the term artist when referring to the late designer, and I use it because aside from the obvious care Alexander McQueen took in his work, he did so brilliantly in a fashion that could be compared to Picasso or Dali.
“Blasphemous” you might call me, but never have I experienced anything in my life that left me with the feeling that rules simply didn’t matter. That I could achieve something special and unique if I just listened to myself instead of what was socially acceptable. I originally intended to write this post last summer because I wanted to share my experience, but its hard to explain something that was overpowered by a mix of feeling. After letting the experience gestate, as well as gaining some new ones, I realized that sometimes, its best to wait, because then you allow a new opinion to shed light on what you thought you knew.
A couple of months ago, a woman came to my old bar to have lunch. We got to talking and it turned out the woman, Tabish, was a stylist from London who currently lives in New York City. The friendly Brit came back to visit me once more before one of her seasonal shopping trips to the UK. It was during this visit she shared with me that she had actually known Alexander McQueen from his time as an apprentice on Savile Row. She shared fond memories of him including when he made her a dress using his family tartan, which, as she described, seems to be (rightfully so) one of her most prized possessions. Before she left, we exchanged information and I was left with that beautifully serendipitous feeling you can only get in New York City.
So, without rambling on about the things I saw and my not so expert opinion on fashion, I’m going to leave you with a video of Alexander McQueen’s final piece from his 2006/2007 show “The Widows of Culloden” so you can experience it yourselves. The important thing to remember is that the piece (worn by Kate Moss) appeared out of thin air in holographic form to the theme from Schindler’s List, a phenomenal feat for 2006 and even arguably today.