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McQueen’s Savage Beauty Exhibit Closes in Triumph

Yesterday saw the closing of the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibit featured over 100 pieces and 70 accessories spanning the entire career of British born Scottish designer Alexander McQueen and was organized by the Met’s Costume Institute who presented the exhibit as an exploration of “an artist whose medium of expression was fashion.” Now that the ensembles are being packed up and shipped back to their respective archives and private collections the final numbers have come in and they are far greater then even the Met had anticipated.

According to the New York Times fashion page the final attendance count reached 661,509 visitors which makes the exhibit the most successful ever to be hosted by the Met’s Costume Institute and the eight biggest show on record for the entire Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Times is also reporting that the museum sold over 100,000 copies of the catalog associated with the exhibit. Both figures are much higher then even the most positive estimates had predicted.

Whether the increase in popularity has to do with the fact that the design house bearing McQueen’s name recently created a dress that help create a Duchess who will one day be a Queen is hard to say. Many are attributing the wonderful turn out to an under appreciation of fashion as art by the museum community coupled with a growing appreciation for fashion by the general public.

McQueen, who was the creative director for Givenchy before launching his own Alexander McQueen label was, and apparently still is, considered one of the most romantic and unique designers of the modern era. When news spread last February of McQueen’s untimely death by his own hand many predicted that would spell the end of the fashion world’s love affair with his dark and naturalistic romanticism. However after the success of Savage Beauty if would seem that McQueen, like many of the other artists who’s work resides within the walls of the Met, was not fully appreciated during his lifetime.

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