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Spending my 25th with Alexander McQueen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

20 Jul

I turned 25 this year, it’s hard to believe I am a quarter of a century old, or think of all the things I have seen in my life thus far and what I will be able to witness in my coming years. I can only hope its amazing!

For my birthday this year my mom and I took the Megabus up to New York City for the day. It was her first time visiting the big apple. We went to all the girly places: the Hello Kitty store, Sephora and finally The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to see the retrospective show celebrating the mad genius that was Lee Alexander McQueen. To say Alexander McQueen was a major influence on me as an artist would be a major understatement, he was like the big bang to my tiny solar system of ideas and influences, everything kind of fell into place with him in the middle of them. He had a clear vision, he knew what story he wanted to tell and when I looked at his clothing I was always able to get it, get his story and understand what he was trying to put out into the world. This is something as an artist I struggle to do, I’m sure Alexander McQueen struggled with his vision(s) and how to make them come alive, and It’s something that I have to work on…..very hard on.

The line for the exhibition was an hour-long and wound around all the way to the ancient near east section. It was a long but totally worth while wait. The exhibition had everything from his masters collection to his time at Givenchy to his last collection: Plato’s Atlantis. I was in sensory overload just walking into the first gallery and completely overwhelmed by the time I reached the Kate Moss hologram recreation.

But the clothes the clothes. I would have killed for those clothes. I especially loved the coat with gold bullion detail from his Dante collection once owned and worn by the late Isabella Blow (who discovered and helped cultivate McQueen’s career).

Coat from McQueen's Dante collection

Another item I was really excited to see was The Oyster Dress. I have been in love with the Oyster Dress since 2003ish when I saw it featured in Vogue. The story behind the Irere collection the Oyster Dress is from, is one of a shipwreck. However when I first saw the dress all I could think about was Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus for some reason. The way the dress was constructed is just amazing. It was created from hundreds of thousands of organza circles stitched together to give the skirt an oyster shell detail. This dress gives a whole new meaning to time-consuming detail work. I want to wear it soo bad. Occasionally I daydream what my wedding dress will look like and The Oyster Dress always, always, always comes to mind. The dress is romantic, it ripples and moves like water. I have no other words to describe the Oyster Dress other than beautiful perfection. I want it, I would even be happy with a Barbie sized version of it, at least my Barbie will look fabulous.

Oyster Dress from Alexander McQueen's 2003 Spring/Summer Irere Collection

The exhibition ended with five ensembles from Plato’s Atlantis, the last collection Alexander McQueen showed before his death. It was a good ending to his retrospective.  I would have liked for them to carry it on though, through to present day, to see how Sarah Burton has continued to carry McQueen’s torch. Staying both true to his sense of design and  her’s. Maybe mentioning that Kate Middleton’s wedding dress is a McQueen, and how it has set bridal trends for a new generation of women who want to look like a princess.

The  rest of the trip was good, other than the fact that I did not realize NYC subway stations are not all handicap accessible. I think my mom just about killed herself trying to climb all those stairs. It was rough. I guess I have just been spoiled by the Baltimore and Washington D.C. subway stations. The ride home was okay, Megabus was late by like and hour and a half and then the bathroom on the bus was broken and sloshing…can you say gross?

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