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Alexander McQueen: Savage Beautyby Andrew Bolton
"I find beauty in the grotesque, like most artists. I have to force people to look at things."
Published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty offers a stunning retrospective of the late designer's career, showcasing garments just as likely to make your skin crawl as they are to make you swoon. True to McQueen's aesthetic, Savage Beauty is at once visually arresting, well-constructed, and unsettling (note: those aren't mannequins), making it a must-have for those already familiar with McQueen's work, and a captivating introduction for the rest.
Synopses & Reviews
Lee Alexander McQueen (1969and#150;2010), whose design combined visionary aesthetics, emotional power, and extraordinary craft, was known for staging provocative shows that were as much performances as venues to display his couture creations. Charged with energy, informed by history and culture, and filled with fresh concepts, McQueenand#8217;s shows have become legends not only of fashion but also of art. Anne Deniau was the only photographer allowed backstage by McQueen for 13 years, beginning in September 1997 and ending with the final show in March 2010. She captured McQueen working with his close circle of collaboratorsand#151;including designer Sarah Burton, milliner Philip Treacy, jewelry designer Shaun Leane, and model Kate Mossand#151;to create his meticulously produced spectacles. Her book offers an inspiring homage, through the art of photography, to the work of a great artist.
Praise for Love Looks Not With the Eyes: Thirteen Years With Lee Alexander McQueen:
The pictures are evocative of the torture, the toughness and, most of all, the tenderness of Mr. McQueen.and#8221; and#151;New York Times
and#147;Deniauand#8217;s close connection to McQueen and her appreciation for his formidable talent is like many of the pieces he created: breathtaking.and#8221; and#151;San Francisco Chronicle
and#147;Thekinetic color and black-and-white photographs document the fantastical,shocking spectacle of a McQueen show in action: hairdos trussed up with birdsof prey; hubcaps strapped to foreheads; faces enhanced by extraterrestrialcheek prostheses. The images are sensual, spooky, and whimsical, playing up thedrama of McQueenand#8217;s vision; like one of the designerand#8217;s fabulous garments, thephotographs transform fashion into high art. The book is both an homage and amemorial; this celebration of McQueenand#8217;s vast, unique talent is also a eulogyfor his tragic loss.and#8221; and#151; and#147;Haute couture has a reputation for spectacle, but Anne Deniauand#8217;s photographs remind us that itand#8217;s also the last bastion of craftsmanship in fashionand#151;or it was, as practiced by designer Alexander McQueen (1969and#150;2010).and#8221; and#151;Wall Street Journal
and#147;Lush, previously unpublished backstage photographs from many of the late designerand#8217;s provocative fashion shows.and#8221;and#151;The Los Angeles Times
and#147;The kinetic color and black-and-white photographs document the fantastical, shocking spectacle of a McQueen show in action: hairdos trussed up with birds of prey; hubcaps strapped to foreheads; faces enhanced by extraterrestrial cheek prostheses. The images are sensual, spooky, and whimsical, playing up the drama of McQueenand#8217;s vision; like one of the designerand#8217;s fabulous garments, the photographs transform fashion into high art. The book is both an homage and a memorial; this celebration of McQueenand#8217;s vast, unique talent is also a eulogy for his tragic loss.and#8221; and#151;Publishers Weekly
and#147;Love Looks Not with the Eyes document[s] the intense work and equally intense emotions that played out behind the scenes of McQueenand#8217;s poetic, passionate, and provocative shows. . . . The intimacy is evident in the pictures.and#8221; and#151;Vogue
and#147;The haunting images offer a rarefied glimpse into the designerand#8217;s inner world.and#8221; and#151;Harperand#8217;s Bazaar
and#147;Deniau, in the process of documenting 26 McQueen presentations, captured images which, too, transcend photographyand#151;matching the decadent and grand world created by the hands of McQueen.and#8221; and#151;Time.com
and#147;Haute couture has a reputation for spectacle, but Anne Deniauand#8217;s photographs remind us that itand#8217;s also the last bastion of craftsmanship in fashionand#151;or it was, as practiced by designer Alexander McQueen (1969and#150;2010).and#8221; and#151;Wall Street Journal
"I never conformed to any sort of fashion ideal. My idea was always to show reality, even though I started at Savile Row and ended up at Givenchy in Paris; to depict the times I live in." and#8212;Alexander McQueen, Harper's Bazaar, September 2008
A lavish exploration of the evocative and complex fashions inspired by Chinese culture
Accompanying one of the most successful exhibitions in the Metropolitan Museumand#39;s history, this lavish book explores the evocative and complex fashions inspired by Chinese culture.
This definitive publication on Alexander McQueen (1969andndash;2010) invites you into the creative mind and world of one of Britainandrsquo;s most brilliant, daring, and provocative designers, and the many themes and references that shaped his visionary fashion collections.
A true comprehensive study, this catalog is the first in-depth look at McQueen and explores key themes of the exhibitionandmdash;tailoring, gothic, primitivism, naturalism, and futurism. The book also features previously unseen material as well as groundbreaking essays and feature spreads by multiple authors and leading fashion commentators. This kaleidoscopic approach explores themes central to the designerandrsquo;s work and his collections, such as the psychology of fashion, natural history, the theatre and spectacle of his shows, and the key creative collaborators during McQueenandrsquo;s lifetime.
Alexander McQueen also offers an encyclopedic survey of McQueenandrsquo;s catwalk collections, illustrated with striking images by leading fashion photographers, and specially commissioned photographs that capture the breathtaking skill of his designs and awesome theatricality of his shows.
For centuries, Chinaandrsquo;s export artsandmdash;jade, silks, porcelains, and, more recently, cinemaandmdash;have fueled Western fantasies of an exotic East and served as enduring sources of inspiration for fashion. This stunning publication, which accompanied one of the most successful exhibitions in The Metropolitan Museum of Artand#39;s history, explores the influence of Chinese aesthetics on designers, including Giorgio Armani, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen, and Yves Saint Laurent. Drawing upon Chinese decorative arts, cinema, and costumeandmdash;notably imperial court robes, the close-fitting cheongsam, and the unisex Mao suitandmdash;their designs are fantastical pastiches of anachronistic motifs. As in the game of andldquo;telephone,andrdquo; the process of cultural translation transforms the source material into ingeniously original fashions that are products solely of the designersandrsquo; imaginations.
In a similar way, contemporary Chinese film directors render fanciful, highly stylized evocations of various epochs in Chinaandrsquo;s historyandmdash;demonstrating that Chinaandrsquo;s imagery is equally seductive to artists in the East and further inspiring todayandrsquo;s designers. Juxtaposing modern fashions and film stills with their forebears in fine and decorative arts and historical dress, this book reveals the rich and ongoing creative dialogue between East and West, past and present.
About the Author
Andrew Bolton is Curatorand#160;at The Costume Institute atand#160;The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Susannah Frankel is fashion editor of Theand#160;Independent newspaper. Tim Blanks is contributing editor of Style.com.
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