Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

When Alexander McQueen passed away in February 2010, it was deemed as a true tragedy to the world of art and expressionism. Looking at this book, it is easy to see why. Savage Beauty is a compilation of some of McQueen's most famous and breathtaking work, items that were displayed with much gusto in the Met in the summer of 2011. I wasn't fortunate enough to see it, but images of the exhibition itself are extraordinary. The Met Exhibition The book is broken up into several 'chapters' of work, each with an introductory theme, and a bit about the collection itself. 

This piece is probably one of my favorites of the book. There are a few double page spreads, but for the most part the book is filled with one garment per page. Sometimes a single image is accompanied by a quote from McQueen himself,  talking about his inspiration or his work process.

His 'origami' coats are iconic and beautiful for their shape, structure, and wonderfully articulate lines. How he makes a hard edge so organic and simple is lovely. 


Some of the models in this book are in truly astounding and wonderfully ephemeral poses. They were photographed on real live models by Sølve Sundsbø before being digitally altered to appear as though on wooden mannequins. I have to say, an excellent job. It gives the work the right structure without detracting from the work by the presence of a real body. Although admittedly, it is also very creepy. (laugh)

Some of the pages have close ups as well as full body shots. A few images have front and back views, but for most part it is a single shot and we must be content. 

Near the end, there are a number of double page spreads displaying some of McQueen's accessories. 

Now let me say, there is A LOT more work than this. But what it comes down to is that I've given you a sampler to help you decide that you want it too. It is just that great a book!

Pros: There is a nice interview with McQueen's second, Sarah Burton, but otherwise the book is pretty text free. The paper quality is wonderful, and the book shows a great breath and variety of McQueen's work. The binding is good, and feels very sturdy. It's a book heavy book.  

Cons: Just by the nature of the work being 3D, I wish I could see multiple shots from different angles of some of the work. I'll just have to see the show!

How To Buy: Amazon

If you buy the book using this link, it will help tell me which books you like me to review, and will assist me towards purchasing more

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