I went closing day to the show that has put this man on the minds of everyone, not just the fashion industry he helped create, hone, upend, nurture, invent, innovate, and challenge.
I missed the closing weekend of this show in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There were lines down the block that lasted 5 hours to get in. They were unequipped to deal with this response. The last several days they kept the exhibit open 24 hours after already extending the hours into the night the proceeding weeks.
The same phenomenon occurred at the V&A where I was fortunate enough to see the show even though each ticket was sold out before the show was even opened.
At that time here is what I knew about Alexander McQueen: “dresses”
Now what I know about Lee Alexander McQueen? Those dresses were a product of a mind that was set on pushing through his vision, No matter the cost. Reading first hand accounts of him is like watching in retrospect a train pass through fog. He had the singular vision to make his designs a reality.
Sure, he made dresses, but with those ‘dresses’ one has to note the details.
In details we can see expertise, mastery, and vision.
The details are spectacular. Each shoe created to add curve to the lines of the cloth which was draped to extend or shorten the aspects of the human form expertly crafted by McQueen.
I can go on and on about my takeaways on each thing I saw and what his vision wrought on an industry and those around him but I will digress on that and suggest each of you find a biography and read it. Either the catalog from the Met show or that from the V&A that I have just seen.
There are a few things I have taken away from my experience seeing this show.
I went in knowing there were expectations surrounding this show across the globe in the two biggest arts and culture cites in the WORLD. I am prone to antiestablishment.
[I cant help it, that is what my generation is bringing to commerce and fashion and humanity.]
So entering a show that is supposed to be all that and some more I bore a brow of skepticism while doing my best to take in what there was to see since this was a blessing to get this chance to see a show that will be a seminal marker in the history of exhibitions as well as global fashion understanding.
The curator did her job.
Entering through a darkened space into a sound-bath that evoked the exact feelings of uncanny and dialectic that his work brings you see some clothes on mannequins. Arranged so that you can see the cut, drape and color of each as the edges and corners and fronts stretched in odd ways just enough that you know it was intentional yet living within the vernacular of clothing. This first room was almost a smoke screen the clothing was good, the space was designed, but it was a pallet cleanser. Each subsequent room took you on a journey with more senses than just the vision of some well-made garments. Again I will point you to go find other media to see visions of what these objects can be, are, and will be.
I want to say that for me this was a day to learn what it is to run a vision and not let that vision run you.
I will go back to my studio a better creator.
Today was a day that will forever be marked in my calendar as the day that I was given the truth of vision.
There is enough time but you have to use that time. Each day should be filled with forward momentum and the quicker you can realize a thought into action into creation the quicker you can manifest the next.
If that means running a company to learn the business like McQueen did so he could take his own brand and sweep the consciousness of the world with it so be it. There is always a way forward and it is my responsibility as a maker to find it.
Today marks a line in the sand for me time beyond will not be mired in the accolades or successes of others but marked by the alacrity with which I can turn vision into creation.