Tonight is one of the most glamorous nights on the fashion calendar -- the annual Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, otherwise known as the Met Ball. I may be biased, but in my opinion, it's the most stylish red carpet of all the events. People always go above and beyond, and this year should be incredible, especially since the gala is celebrating the opening of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, a retrospective of the late McQueen's work, curated by Andrew Bolton.
Alexander McQueen dress, VOSS, Spring/Summer 2011. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, photograph © Sølve Sundsbø / Art + Commerce
Alexander McQueen dress, Widows of Culloden, Autumn/Winter 2006-7. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, photograph © Sølve Sundsbø / Art + Commerce
One of Harold Koda's favorite McQueen looks, from Plato's Atlantis, Spring/Summer 2010. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, photograph © Sølve Sundsbø / Art + Commerce
Alexander McQueen dress, Dante, Autumn/Winter 1996-97. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, photograph © Sølve Sundsbø / Art + Commerce
I never met McQueen, but I was a fan from afar. It's hard to look at his collections and not get caught up in both his ability to tell a story and create a remarkably crafted piece of clothing. As students of fashion, we all know the now-infamous stories about McQueen, affectionately dubbed the enfant terrible by the fashion press -- sewing naughty sayings into the lining of Princes Charles' suits while apprenticing on Savile Row; Isabella Blow buying up his entire graduate collection from Central Saint Martins; his "bumster" trousers, etc.
For me, I loved the theatricality, the color, the prints and the details of collections like They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, Voss, The Girl Who Lived in the Tree, or his bird of paradise dresses, the hats, the shoes....
Today on our blog, we interviewed Harold Koda, the Costume Institute Curator in Charge, about fashion and the history of the Met Ball and its exhibits. He is a true design academic who nevertheless, when asked about his all-time favorite McQueen look, said, "One of the pieces from Plato's Atlantis gives me goosebumps."