Savage beauty: Alexander McQueen's anatomical inspirations

Alienation often accounts for a macabre sense of the marvellous. At the entrance to "Savage Beauty," there is an evening gown conjured entirely from razor-clam shells. Antelope horns sprout from the shoulders of a pony-skin jacket, and vulture skulls serve as epaulettes on a leather dress. There are angel wings made out of balsa wood, and worms encased in a bodice of molded plastic. "I'm inspired by a feather," McQueen said of all the duck, turkey, ostrich, and gull plumage in his clothing--"its graphics, its weightlessness, and its engineering."

--Judith Thurman
"Dressed to Thrill," a review of the Alexander McQueen retrospective, "Savage Beauty," at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The New Yorker, May 16, 2011

Selected objects from the exhibition: spine corset, impala horn jacket, black duck feather dress, antler and lace headpiece, razor clam dress.

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