This week, I took the time to enjoy summer. Given the high temperatures and the humidity — a combo that makes you feel like your getting hit by the emissions of car exhaust pipes from every possible angle — I headed to the air-conditioned comfort of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Specifically, I went to check out Savage Beauty, the exhibit that celebrates Alexander McQueen’s work (heads-up: it ends on August 7th).
It’s no secret among those who know me that I’m far from being fashionably knowledgeable. I learn what I can from the Project Runway judges and the What Not To Wear hosts, but I still don’t understand haute couture or why anyone would wear scarves during the summer (I’m looking at you, Olsen twins). Given my obvious ignorance about the fashion world, I was unsure of what I would get from the exhibit. I learned, however, that McQueen was a creative, intelligent man with an artistic point of view that comes through in his clothing.
He enjoyed pushing the envelope with his work (spray paint and balsa wood and pony skin — oh my!), and that extended to his models. During his a show in 1998, McQueen cast a model named Aimee Mullins. Mullins, a double amputee, strutted her stuff on the catwalk (on the catwalk, yeah) using two wooden legs that featured detailed carvings. The legs, and the outfit that went with them, are on display. Think about the implications of this — the wooden prosthetics were part of the outfit, a imperative piece of the artistic statement.