“I am a romantic schizophrenic,” Alexander McQueen once said.
The work of designer Alexander McQueen, whose untimely death in 2010 was one of the contemporary art world’s greatest tragedies, served at every turn as an iconoclastic rebuke to the shibboleths of the fashion world. A Savile Row tailor by the age of sixteen, the precocious couturier proved to be one of those rare and indispensable insiders with the courage to excoriate the very establishment he belonged to. He was brash, bold and, above all, brilliant – a transcendent creator who deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Damien Hurst, Matthew Barney, Marina Abramovic, and the artist
who seems to have played midwife to his particular weltanschauung, Francis Bacon.
Now, the collections that electrified the runways of Paris and Milan have decamped London. The exhibit, ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’, presented by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London from March 14th to August 2nd, draws from the breadth of McQueen’s work and explores, as fully as possible in a single exhibit, the ground-breaking designer’s vast stylistic palate, his fascinations with exoticism and the gothic, and his unrivaled gift for subversive and often disturbing juxtapositions, the product of a temperament fully engaged with the ferment of post-modern Western angst.
Viewers planning on attending the exhibit should prepare to be unsettled just the same. There is a darkness in McQueen’s work that evokes what William James referred to as ‘sublime terror’, a paralysis in the face of strange, and not necessarily benevolent, gods. The absence of sentimentality, the existential coldness in these clothes, can be brutal – something like the nihilistic honesty in the films of Gaspar Noé. It is, quite honestly, a discomforting and, yes, savage beauty.
Amanda’s own story begins in 1984, in Brazil. A decade ago she moved to the UK, and went to the University of Bath to complete a degree in Modern Languages and European Studies, for which she lived in Rome for a year. In Brazil she studied architecture before moving to England. After an experience in the fashion industry with womens-wear label Isolda, Amanda decided to pursue her passion of design. This translated itself into jewelry design and the founding of KATTRI.
Amanda believes that all the things she has seen and experienced in life (plus her genetic fabric) influence the aesthetic choice of the jewelry pieces she creates. However, she has a clear attraction to pure geometric shapes and repetition. Strong visual impact is achieved through the structure of the pieces themselves rather than through ornamentation.
The bold shapes, lines and curves of the Geometry Collection point to a commitment to purity and clarity through the rejection of all non-essential forms, features or concepts. Beauty born of minimalism provides the collection’s guiding creative impetus. The Japanese aesthetic principle called MA was also an important inspiration when designing this collection. This idea says that by valuing empty spaces and the absence of unnecessary features the essential characteristic of the materials used are revealed. Combining craftsmanship and savoir-faire with modern design, technology and industrial processes the Geometry Collection exemplifies KATTRI’s dedication to simplicity of form and innovative composition.
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