“Give me time, and I will give you revolution.” -- Alexander McQueen
NEW YORK, NY -- Alexander McQueen believed that, of all human emotions, love was the most jubilant. Quoted by Harper’s Bazaar in 2007, “What you see in the work is the person himself. And my heart is in my work.”
For McQueen, fashion was not only a way to channel and express his emotions, but a platform to cultivate increased vulnerability and openness in his audience, stating that “the show...should make you think, there is no point in doing it if it’s not going to create some sort of emotion.”
A champion of free thought and imagination, Alexander McQueen shocked the world with his daring and often controversial designs. Much of his work combined themes of the sublime, historicism, Romanticism, and the Victorian Gothic. He coupled his exceptional tailoring prowess with a penchant for creating avant-garde runway spectacles. These twin talents were never more vividly on display than during the Voss Spring/Summer 2001 show, which inspired Jennifer Zuiker to begin collecting McQueen’s work.
“Seeing the Voss 2001 runway show is what started the McQueen obsession for me. It was more like live art. Disturbing and breathtaking and the most unique runway show I had ever seen,” said Ms. Zuiker, who is the owner of a California-based horror-prop rental company.
Indeed, the landmark event had all the trappings of arthouse horror. It began with the audience listening to the sound of a heart beating while looking at what appeared to be a large mirrored box. When lit up, the mirror revealed itself to be a 2-way glass partition. The set inside mimicked a padded psychiatric ward surrounding a central glass box. The finale recreated artist Joel-Peter Witkin’s work Sanitarium – the walls of the small glass box in the center fell away to reveal the voluptuous, nude, masked figure of fetish writer Michelle Olley. Moths flittered around her as the reverberating sound of a heartbeat abruptly shifted to a flat-line monotone.
Jennifer Zuiker’s collection, which will be auctioned by Doyle on September 16, is believed to be the largest private collection of Alexander McQueen in the United States. It chronicles McQueen’s career, from his critically acclaimed 1995 show Highland Rape to his very last, posthumously titled Angels and Demons in 2010.
“When you slip into his clothing you instantly feel empowered, sexy and feminine all at the same time,” said Ms. Zuiker, “No other designer made me feel like that.”
The Art of Alexander McQueen: The Jennifer Zuiker Collection
The Jennifer Zuiker Collection comprises fifty lots of couture and accessories acquired directly from the house of Alexander McQueen. Auction Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 10am EDT