Savage Beauty

You cannot swing a cat in this town without hitting someone who says,

“You HAVE to go see Savage Beauty!”

Luckily, a friend of mine had a Met Membership pass, so we bypassed the line and the price tag.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been as much fun.  And by ‘fun’-I mean being packed into a small, dark space while hordes of people surreptitiously snap photographs (we saw you) of a pheasant feather dress.  It’s true, the WHOLE dress is made of pheasant feathers.

photograph © sølve sundsbø / art + commerce

The Costume Institute’s exhibit of the late Alexander McQueen’s work is stunning-as in, I was literally stunned.  The Dark Lord of fashion’s creations-Daphne Guinness’s Jack the Ripper blazer, Lady GaGa’s meat dress-aren’t easily digestible (sorry, no pun intended).  These tortured creations aren’t just macabre but indicative of the designer’s head space.  The man was a master craftsman-a genius-but to see all his work in one collection gave me a twinge of trespassing.  Should I be in this front row seat of his psyche?  I didn’t  reconcile this thought with my actions, however, because his work is simply impossible to ignore.

I also had my eighteen-month-old son with me, his maiden voyage to the Met.  He was remarkably well behaved and genuinely curious as to why everyone was there.  He addressed one cluster of people in particular.  This group-in a somber frame of mind- huddled near a collection entitled, Highland Rape.   I saw him study them for a moment before he stuck his large head in front of them and offered a goofy grin.  Under normal circumstances, I would have scolded him, but we were all so surprised we couldn’t help but laugh.  We clearly welcomed the relief.

If you can’t get to the exhibit, click the link above to view photos and descriptions of many of the pieces on display.  Then grab the book on amazon, put it on your coffee table and tell all your friends how great it was.

featured image: © sølve sundsbø / art + commerce

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