Contributed by Liz V.
I am a native New Yorker, who developed a spirit of adventures when it comes to immersing myself in cultural events. This particular exhibit at the MET was something I meant to do, but held off until the last minute. I always shoot myself in the foot when I am in this position, and accepted the possibility that I might not get in to see the extraordinary costumes of the infamous designer. A friend and art dealer, who said that it was the best show he ever saw at the MET, provided the inspiration to check it out. I couldn’t have agreed more that it was well worth the wait for several hours to stand in awe of the work of a genius, Alexander McQueen. The following is a pictorial account of my visit.
I arrived at the Met at 9:30 AM to queue up. I was surrounded by flocks of people waiting to get in, which did not deter me from waiting on a line outside of the museum. The line moved fairly rapidly. I reached the admission desk only to find out that the line to the exhibit was closed for at least an hour. Well, at least I got into the building. I felt the reverence of something special happening here.
I wandered in the lobby, walked through the bookstore, and found myself in the Egyptian Room. I looked to freshen up a bit, but stopped short in my tracks, and stared at these tiny and ancient figures behind glass.
The theater masks and the ram display caught my fancy. They refer to the God Dionysus, a patron of the theater and rebirth. He was equated with the Egyptian God Osiris. These masks were used for burials, which is telling by the so-called expression. I decided to find the line upstairs at this juncture while milling around the Greek and Roman statues.
Now, I am on the long line to the McQueen Exhibit that stretched into several gallery rooms. Here, I am circling Asian Art. I patiently looked at the bright side. If I went to the exhibit on an earlier date without the line, I wouldn’t have taken the time to see all the cool art on the way.
Here’s, the view from the Great Balcony! I couldn’t wait to get into the entrance of the McQueen exhibit. The guard gave another hour and a half of waiting on the line. I had to make a choice either to stay on the line or to head to work. I considered asking the guard to give me her uniform so I can inconspicuously walk in front of the line. However, I chose to bail out with the intention of coming back on Sunday morning.
THE LAST DAY. I awoke at 5:00 AM to the thunderous sounds of pouring rain on the windows. I rolled over and thought I’d sleep in for another hour or two. The rain would scare the preponderance of people dying to get into the museum. I arrived at 8:00 AM. The museum opened its doors at 9:30 AM for the general public. Members of the museum were allowed to go in at 8:00 AM. While speaking with a French woman for 40 minutes, a couple randomly offered us their temporary membership passes to go ahead of the line and see the exhibit. I graciously accepted the invitation and walked in front to the special door for members on the side of the building. Yippee! I thought I paid my dues on Friday and felt grateful that I received a lucky break.
At this point I was 15 minutes from entering the exhibit. Auguste Rodin is my favorite sculptor so it was pleasing to wait here in the Rodin gallery.
I finally approached the entrance to the hall. I faintly heard my heart beating while listening to the pulsing, eerie, dark, melodious music that played through out the exhibit. The unique costumes were displayed on the faceless mannequins that bore champion headdresses. The dramatic video clips of the runway models showed that the personality of the costume reigned higher than the beauty of the models. The halogen of Kate Moss was exquisite. I watched it for several minutes. Every room showed that McQueen combined synthesized fabrics of wool, silk, horsehair, beads, embroidery, taffeta, (etc.), into beautiful, stylized, regal, and original dresses. I liked the plaid in his Scottish selection. McQueen was of Scottish descent. He felt a strong connection to his roots in these designs. Accessories were vital. A leather jacket with real shoulder alligator heads is a bizarre look even for a Hell’s Angels biker. While I strolled through the exhibit, I thought about Alexander McQueen’s emotional pain as I took in the most breathtaking, worldly fashion designs I ever witnessed. I felt that his pain took him to the depths of devilish detail, which were the impetus of his designs. It was that dark place that inspired his work.
For more details about this extraordinary show, check out this link to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street New York, New York 10028-0198 Information: 212-535-7710 TTY: 212-570-3828 Directions