McQueen-led costume exhibit of rare pieces opens in New Orleans

The New Orleans Museum of Art has opened a new costume exhibit, A Queen Within - Adorned Archetypes, featuring rare exclusive experimental pieces designed by Alexander McQueen, as well as other luxury houses.

Alexander McQueen, Dress, Heaven and Hell Collection, AW10 - Margaux Krane (NOMA)

The exhibit is the first fashion exhibit for the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and features 100 pieces including experimental gowns, headpieces, jewelry and shoes made by 50 designers, artists and photographers. Designers include McQueen, Prada, Chanel and Comme des Garçons, as well as Adidas, Chan Luu, Gianfranco Ferré, Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, and Viktor & Rolf.

The exhibit aims to look at fashion through seven mythological female archetypes. McQueen drove the inspiration for the exhibition through his master storytelling and the narrative skills he demonstrated in his runway shows.

In a release, Susan Taylor, the Montine McDaniel Freeman Director of NOMA said, "The exhibition explores the complicated symbolism used by avant-garde designers." She continued, explaining that it "definitively demonstrates that fashion is art."

Curators Sofia Hedman and Serge Martynov singled out a Vivienne Westwood coat to emphasise the depth of the pieces on show, noting that it "is from a collection that called for people to unite in an effort to save Venice, and the rest of our planet, from the effects of climate change." Additional pieces include Iris van Herpen's dresses, Chromat's body-positive architectural looks and Gypsy Sport's gender fluid looks.

Mel Buchanan, NOMA's RosaMary Curator of Decorative Arts & Design, said the "exhibition shows beauty, certainly, but also pain, humor, power, and weakness." Buchanan added that it explores "how fashion can be about the complex human condition."

The exhibit opens February 21st and runs through May 28, 2018.

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