Sunday, May 8, 2011

A McQueen Moment

The timing was amazing. Last Friday Kate Middleton, destined to be the queen of England, married Prince William as three billion people watched around the world in a really beautiful dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Three days later on Monday night the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute previewed its new exhibition called "Savage Beauty," a retrospective of the work of McQueen. The name on everyone's mind now is the visionary English fashion genius who committed suicide last February at the age of forty.

Surely he would have loved to dress a future queen on her wedding day. I thought Kate Middleton got it all exactly right including her smallish bouquet composed of sweet William, for her husband, and sprigs from a myrtle planted by Queen Victoria in 1845.

(photos from
The wedding dress had a lace bodice and sleeves, a full skirt, and a long train, and was worn with a sheer veil and a Cartier diamond tiara borrowed from Queen Elizabeth. It was an elegant '50s Grace Kelly look.

When she walked with her father up the aisle of Westminster Abbey (the construction of which began in 1245), it was quite breathtaking. Aren't we lucky to have tv cameras soaring about at these events?

Westminster Abbey

The New Yorker said that in England, royal weddings are a work of art. They really do know how to throw one.

Then on Monday in New York, the Met previewed its new Alexander McQueen show at the Costume Institute, there until July 31st. Due to time restraints, I was not able to attend the preview, as I did last year which we videoed. But the museum sent over some images of the McQueen galleries:
Gallery view – The Romantic Mind

Gallery view – The Romantic mind

Gallery view – Romantic Nationalism

The reviews of the show have been great, and I can't wait to go up and see it. Though I wonder if it will be a little sad, this retrospective of a life cut short by self-destruction. Certainly the world needs the fantastically imaginative creativity of Alexander McQueen. Right now, HBO is showing Lady Gaga's Monster Ball Tour special, which is pretty spectacular, and all of her many eccentric outfits are very McQueen-like – wouldn't that have been an astonishing partnership to watch.
I took this picture of a window at Bergdorf Goodman when McQueen died. It featured an angel floating in his white dress trimmed with a fringe of feathers.

He is greatly missed.


ABG said...

Terrific Post BB. I always enjoy reading your blog. Nice compare and contrast. Looking forward to see the Met show as well. ABG

Bart Boehlert said...

Dear ABG, Thanks about the post and thanks about the blog!

Nick D said...

Beautiful post, can't wait to find some time to see the Met show! Great blog.

Bart Boehlert said...

Hi Nick D,
Thanks for visiting –

Bart Boehlert said...

Gail, in northern California said....

Loved the beautiful pictures you posted of the royal wedding,
and the details you provided (like the composition of Kate's
wedding bouquet).

But I especially liked the connection you drew for Alexander
McQueen's design, how his legacy continues through Sarah
Burton, and the current exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum
of Art Costume Institute. I hope you get more photos from
Savage Beauty although you'll be hard-pressed to out-do those
you took at Bergdorf Goodman.

You've even convinced me to watch Lady Gaga's Monster
Ball on HBO!