Legendary British designer Alexander McQueen, who shocked the fashion industry when he committed suicide last year at age 40, was known for outrageous, sinister and downright racy clothing, and runway shows more akin to performance art. You can see some of his wildest, most wondrous pieces up close in a new exhibit, "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.
Check out the hologram of Kate Moss. The "bumster" pants that may have sparked the lowrider craze. The crazy accessories that look like props from a "Saw" film (an aluminum jawbone mouthpiece, pheasant claw earrings). And don't forget those 10-inch-high armadillo boots. Yes, there are even some wearable looks.
Here are unusual materials from five must-see outfits.
1. HUMAN HAIR
McQueen graduated from London's prestigious Central Saint Martins fashion school with a show inspired by Jack the Ripper. One tailcoat, in a pink silk satin thorn pattern, is lined with silk and encapsulated human hair. Mmm, toasty.
2. SPRAY PAINT
In one of McQueen's most dramatic runway shows, a model in a white cotton muslin dress is attacked by two spray-painting robots, splattering the dress with black and yellow paint. See the dress and the runway video.
3. GLASS MEDICAL SLIDES
The designer painted medical slides red, applied them like sequins or paillettes to a sexy, science-y bodice, then sculpted a curvaceous skirt from red and black ostrich feathers. "I try and modify fashion like a scientist," McQueen observed, "by offering what is relevant to today and what will continue to be so tomorrow."
A nude silk organza dress embroidered with silk and fresh flowers -- a uniform any garden club lady would be proud to wear. "I used flowers because they die," he noted. "I was darkly romantic at the time."
OK, not really. But those iconic "armadillo" boots certainly look like hoofs. They are part of his last fully realized collection, which was inspired by Charles Darwin. "It's the ugly things I notice more, because other people tend to ignore the ugly things," he explained.
'Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty'
INFO $20, 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org