McQueens of the Night

Last night’s Met Gala, celebrating the opening of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty was an occasion to rejoice and reflect on the designer’s contributions to the visual world. In a much-lauded exhibit curated by Andrew Bolton (some say his best project to date), and a night of fashion’s best invited to attend, I expected my jaw to drop over and over again.

I expected to revel in the creative splendour of other-worldly gowns, adorned with gothentic accessories. I expected my view to be altered. I expected to celebrate McQueen from a distance, through these lucky souls.

In a word, I was disheartened.

How could so few of those privileged enough to attend, wear the designer to whom they were paying tribute?

How could they not wrap themselves in endless McQueen dreams?

I didn’t see most of the dresses I expected to see – flipping furiously through my mind. It was, for the most part, a futile search.

Where were the wind-blown capes? Where was the FW08 feather dress? Where were the kimono sleeves? Where was the armour-candy?

At the very least, where was Plato’s Atlantis?

It was beyond my comprehension.

However, there were exceptions – there were a few McQueens of the night.

Wendy Murdoch in Alexander McQueen PF08 gown at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
Saving Grace: Wendy Murdoch in a PF08 gown. Photo: Vogue.com.
Wendy Murdoch in Alexander McQueen PF08 gown at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
She should have worn the hat and gloves. Photo: Vogue.com.
Tabitha Simmons in Alexander McQueen at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
Tabitha Simmons' McQueen dream jacket - one of the few to showcase his tailoring that evening. Photo: Vogue.com.
Anna Dello Russo in Alexander McQueen at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com.
The other example of tailoring - and more zardozi embroidery. Could have done without the egg. Photo: Racked NY.
Gisele Bundchen in Alexander McQueen at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
Now here is a woman one doesn't expect to see in McQueen, but it fits her like one. Photo: StyleBistro.
Gisele Bundchen in Alexander McQueen at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
Every (Mc)Queen deserves a train... Photo: Vogue.com.
Gisele Bundchen and Naomi Campbell in Alexander McQueen at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
Gisele and Naomi - also in McQueen - on the red carpet. Photo: @worldmcqueen.
Karen Elson in Alexander McQueen SS04 at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
Karen Elson in Alexander McQueen SS04. Photo: @worldmcqueen.
Karen Elson in Alexander McQueen SS04 at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
Dressed up and down at the same time. Photo: Vogue.com.
Salma Hayek "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" Costume Institute Gala At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art on exshoesme.com
Salma, that whole PPR thing is agreeing with you. Photo: JustJared.com.
Sarah Jessica Parker "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" Costume Institute Gala At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art on exshoesme.com
SJP goes Hitchcock. Photo: JustJared.com.
Sarah Jessica Parker "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" Costume Institute Gala At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art on exshoesme.com
Loved the subtlety of the gown mixed with the sparkle. Photo: JustJared.com.
Miranda Brooks in Alexander McQueen at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
Miranda Brooks keeps it simple. Photo: Vogue.com.

Many of those in McQueen chose Sarah Burton’s designs for the label, including, of course, the designer herself.

Leelee Sobieski in Alexander McQueen at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
This was one of my favourite looks of the night. Leelee Sobieski in Sarah Burton for McQueen. Photo: JustJared.com.
Leelee Sobieski in Alexander McQueen at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
That leaf belt has me in its grip. Photo: JustJared.com.
Naomi Campbell in Alexander McQueen at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com.
Naomi Campbell in a custom piece by Sarah Burton. Photo: @metmuseum.
Florence Welch performs in Alexander McQueen at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
Florence Welch performs, wearing SB for McQueen SS11. She wore YSL on the red carpet with her escort for the evening, Stefano Pilati. Photo: Vogue.com.
Coco Rocha in Alexander McQueen FW11 at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
Coco Rocha in Alexander McQueen FW11. Photo: Vogue.com.
Raquel Zimmermann in Alexander McQueen FW11 at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
Raquel Zimmermann, also in Alexander McQueen FW11. The models are moving forward. Photo: Vogue.com.

Of course, the reigning McQueens for me were already chosen – Hamish and Daphne.

Hamish Bowles and Daphne Guinness in Alexander McQueen FW11 at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
Hamish Bowles, he in old McQueen. Daphne Guinness, she in new McQueen. Not sure who Nick Knight is wearing. Photo: Citizenchic.
Lee Hilfiger with McQueen clutch at the Met Ball 2011 on exshoesme.com
Lee Hilfiger holds on to her McQueen Union Jack skull clutch - as she should. Photo: Vogue.com.

I am holding on to the fact that the exhibit will take my breath away.

Because Lee certainly did.

See all posts on the Met Ball 2011.

Compare it to last year’s red carpet:

I Knew It When We MET

METaphors and Similes

METa Data

Déjà Vu: Have we MET before?

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