The Oyster Dress And Me.

Last week I visited the Alexander McQueen “Savage Beauty” exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan.  The queues were long, the display area was packed; but nothing could take away from the spectacle of the clothing – it was a wonderful tribute to McQueen.

I think my favourite dress from his entire collection is the “oyster dress”, here above and below, part of his 2003 ‘Transitions’ collection:

This dress is the perfect example of the art of McQueen: dramatic visual representations and tactile explorations.

“A number of gowns in Alexander McQueen’s “Transitions” collection of spring/summer 2003 appear to be poetic renderings of a disaster at sea. While a similar dress appeared colored like the plumage of a tropical bird, this gown of sand-colored organza recalls the mille-feuille ridging on the surface of a shell. The hem of the skirt, like the wavy lip of a giant mollusk, further emphasizes the seashell quality of the gown. But unlike Aphrodite, who was born in the foam of the sea and borne to shore on a scallop, McQueen’s beauty is a bruised pearl encased in a deconstructing oyster, the tumbled survivor of the violent action of waves”

Source: Alexander McQueen: Dress (2003.462) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I suppose that what interested me most about the exhibition was that McQueen has reached a level of public acceptance in death that I imagine him to have struggled with in life – balancing his creativity with what was expected of him: his collections, his shows set new levels of art and fashion each time.

I’d be really interested to hear what others thought of this exhibition – if you have visited then please leave me a comment.  Or if you have anything to say about McQueen and his work please write a little something below.

So, I took a little McQueen inspiration for my outfit post today and of course I would highly recommend ‘Savage Beauty‘ to you all.

Wearing: Dress from ASOS (old season) – ( just adore the style of this dress!).  Shoes, Sigerson Morrison.  Clutch from Taylor of CurlyInTheCity. Visit her Etsy shop here.  Jacket, Reiss.

If you want to read some good reviews of the exhibition, do have a look at Bloginity and Fashionista as these were my favourites.



  1. says

    Love your take on the Oyster dress. That was really one of the pieces that made my jaw drop, the workmanship is absolutely amazing. The hand beading in the pieces from the Girl Who Lived in a Tree collection made me swoon.

  2. says

    I saw the exhibit this morning and indeed the Oyster dress was one of the highlights! I’d love to see it worn and in movement up close and really appreciate the story behind it.
    Some of my favorite McQueen collections were not featured in Savage Beauty but nevertheless the exhibit is rather a success: it covers most of the late designer’s career and the comments on display and from the audioguide were really interesting. Ideally they could have added more videos from his shows since they were so much part of the brand’s identity.

  3. says

    I love McQueen and I love your outfit. I think the structured jacket works so well over the McQueen-esque dress. Perfect to wear to a McQueen exhibition!

  4. says

    I am so envious that you saw the McQueen exhibit at the met. I saw the Chanel exhibit there for its debut- years ago now- and the experience was, frankly, life-changing. I’m planning a trip to NYC next spring and have my fingers crossed this exhibit will be extended until then. McQueen was never on my list of favourite designers, from an aesthetic perspective, but his phenomenal talent was undeniable, and seeing his creations in person would add a whole new dimension to my admiration for him :) I love your oyster-inspired dress. So delicate and beautiful, but much more wearable than the real thing!

  5. says

    Ugh..I am only an hour away…I need to get my ass to the exhibit…it looks amazing.
    As do you, my dear in that killer dress…to be totally honest at first glance I thought you were JUST wearing the blazer w a skirt and I was like…goodness girlfriend- regardless you look beautiful as always and glad you found inspiration from the amazing Savage Beauty.

  6. says

    I don’t have a crush, i have a canion for McQueen! Really!
    I totally agree with you about his acceptance. I got really concerned when Sarah toke his place (I was wondering “who the hell is she?”) but she keeps the amazing work [of art] that he mades all over his career!

    And girl, you always look stunning, perfect blazer and very cute skirt/dress!!
    Love your outfits ;)

    • says

      I love that we’re visiting each blog’s regularly now. Thanks for your comment! I agree that Sarah Burton took the McQueen brand and her work was both a tribute to Alexander as well as taking the brand further. I’m excited to see where she goes next, too.

  7. says

    I saw the exhibit 3 days ago and can’t stop talking about it. That dress was my absolute favorite among a whole show of spectacular visions. My second favorite wa the burlap with the silk pleated inserts on the skirt and covered with gorgeous crewele flowers.
    I think the silk organza dress was the subject of that interestingly aired filn of the floating model.
    Another favorite iten was the pearled headdress exhibited in the big central gallery. I hve been searching all over for a photo of it. I feel very influenced by that look and would like to reinterpret it in a necklace.

    • says

      Maggie thank you for your thoughts. I was indeed an inspirational exhibition and I’ve talked to so many people about it myself. If I find a good picture of the headdress I will let you know.

  8. says

    Gorgeous!! I love this post and how close your dress is to the oyster one! Thanks for your sweet comment on my Le Choix Trois! I think we have some mutual blog friends!

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