Alexander McQueen: Only those who go too far know how far they can go

By Mad Dog
Published: May 03, 2011

I want to see Jerusalem. And The Normal Heart. I’m on my way to both plays — as soon as I recover from the vast, unsettling, brutal and beautiful Alexander McQueen retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Fashion? Oh, it’s so much more. Sculpture, obviously; these clothes start with a passionate concern with fit and form, and then come materials never used in fashion. But also theater: a breeze blows a dress made of silk parachute cloth. After a while, a line of Yeats lodged in my head — “A terrible beauty is born” — and that, plus the sadness of McQueen’s suicide, had me near tears for the rest of the show. “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” is at the Met until July 31. Go early in the day, if possible – this show will be mobbed. Here are some more videos. And, if you can’t get to New York, here’s a fine book about this show.