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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
Arguably the most influential, imaginative, and provocative designer of his generation, Alexander McQueen both challenged and expanded fashion conventions to express ideas about race, class, sexuality, religion, and the environment. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty examines the full breadth of the designerand#8217;s career, from the start of his fledgling label to the triumphs of his own world-renowned London house. It features his most iconic and radical designs, revealing how McQueen adapted and combined the fundamentals of Savile Row tailoring, the specialized techniques of haute couture, and technological innovation to achieve his distinctive aesthetic. It also focuses on the highly sophisticated narrative structures underpinning his collections and extravagant runway presentations, with their echoes of avant-garde installation and performance art.
Published to coincide with an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art organized by The Costume Institute, this stunning book includes a preface by Andrew Bolton; an introduction by Susannah Frankel; an interview by Tim Blanks with Sarah Burton, creative director of the house of Alexander McQueen; illuminating quotes from the designer himself; provocative and captivating new photography by renowned photographer Sand#248;lve Sundsband#248;; and a lenticular cover by Gary James McQueen.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty celebrates the astounding creativity and originality of a designer who relentlessly questioned and confronted the requisites of fashion.
"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.
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 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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