Thursday, June 23, 2011

Alexander McQueen brings an artist's touch to his designs

Wearable Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
by guest blogger, Lindsay LeBoyer

MET's 82nd street entrance(photo LeBoyer)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute is currently showing an exhibition called Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. The exhibit shows the designs of Alexander McQueen from his graduate collection at Central St. Martins College of Art to the final collection at his namesake brand. The exhibition runs through August 7th. You can go to the MET's website for all the details on the exhibit and to plan your own visit. There are many special programs associated with this exhibition including a  Teen Program called Alexander McQueen: Celebrate and Create, which took place on Saturday, June 12th and I was fortunate enough to participate in.

A dress from McQueen's Spring/Summer 2001 collection
A big debate in the fashion world is whether fashion is art but when it comes to Alexander McQueen, he's a true artist. He pushes the boundaries of silhouettes and completely re-imagines what the body can look like. McQueen also used materials for his designs which no other designer had used before. For example, in a dress from his Spring/Summer 2001 collection, the bodice is made of glass microscope slides tinted red. This is the first piece one sees upon entering the exhibit. The dress really pulls you in and makes you want to see more of McQueen's gorgeous creations. From a dress embroidered with fresh flowers, to a corset made completely from aluminum coils, you will not be disappointed.

The exhibition is organized by rooms and a highlight of the exhibition is the "Romantic Naturalism" room. Like many artists, McQueen drew inspiration from the natural world around him. Although the pieces were inspired by nature, they have somewhat of an extraterrestrial feel.

The "Romantic Naturalism" room
After a tour of the exhibition, the teen program included a seminar,led by the Costume Institute's Shannon Bell Price and famous teen fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson. The seminar covered everything from McQueen's aesthetic to how he brought creative visions to life. Shannon Bell Price assisted Andrew Bolton in curating the exhibit, and it was really interesting to hear how they collaborated with McQueen's team to get every detail just right. After the seminar, teens were invited to an art room to make their own pieces of "wearable art" inspired by McQueen.
LeBoyer's Hat inspired by the McQueen Collection

For my wearable art piece, I constructed a miniature top hat out of black colored paper. I decorated it with red feathers, ribbon, and shiny gems to resemble some of the pieces I had seen in the exhibit. I had a wonderful time at the MET and hope to return there for many more teen programs in the future!

Lindsay's Art Picks

Peacock Art,  20x30in

I absolutely love this peacock painting! The bright blue body and orange-y gold feathers create a beautiful contrast, and bright hues are one of my favorite trends for summer. This painting also uses sheet music as a material. I love when artists use unconventional mediums!~LL

Baby Chicks, 11x14" matted print
This a water color painting of baby chicks. Their feathers look so fluffy, and I love the simple white background.~LL

Summer Swan

This painting, called "Swan Summer," is another watercolor that I love. The reflection in the water is gorgeous. I could imagine seeing this swan floating on a pond as the sun sets.~LL