Today's post is courtesy of Ilana Winter, our Temp. Assistant Registrar. In this post, Ilana describes the process of crating our beloved Alexander McQueen Peacock dress for travel to the Modern Love exhibit in Bendigo, Australia. Read on for a wonderful overview of this fascinating, labor-intensive project.
Approximately 7,937 miles lie between the FIDM Museum in Los Angeles and the Bendigo Art Gallery in Bendigo, Australia. That distance equates to roughly 132,283 football fields, a 16 1/2-hour flight, and about half a million gummy bears laid out head-to-toe. Transporting objects from our museum to other institutions always requires intricate packing techniques to ensure the pieces’ safety. Our upcoming collaborative exhibition with the Bendigo Art Gallery, Modern Love: Fashion Visionaries from the FIDM Museum LA, will display nearly a hundred of our most exquisite contemporary objects. Considering how far the extraordinary (and also delicate) objects had to travel, the packing process was remarkable. One object that went to Australia is the Alexander McQueen Peacock dress from his Fall/Winter 2008-2009 collection. Here’s the story about how our piece went from “The Girl Who Lived in a Tree” to “The Girl Who Flew in a Crate.”
McQueen’s Peacock dress is a stunning example of his craftsmanship, creativity, and consistent nods to the United Kingdom’s rich history. Inspired by British Colonialism, the Indian Empire, and both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, the dress’s sculptured ruffles and confronted peacock lace motif stood out as a showstopper when it walked down the runway. To better understand the design, check out our previous post on the gown. The dress, which we commissioned from the Alexander McQueen atelier, was constructed on a Schlappi mannequin. Because the piece is permanently dressed on the mannequin, we had to pack it in a special way.