Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Last week I took a trip to London to visit the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum. I had high expectations for the exhibition and it certainly did not disappoint! 

The exhibition is a retrospective look at the career of one of the greatest and most creative British fashion designers, in my humble opinion. I couldn't believe just quite how big the exhibition itself was and through every door and round every corner there was just more and more to see - I really could have spent all day there. 

Savage Beauty is definitely a multi-sensory experience with each section of the exhibition projecting a different theme, done so through the use of interiors, props, music and lighting, categorising McQueen's collections in terms of inspiration; Victorian, gothic, tribal, oriental, etc. 

The 'Cabinet of Curiosities' section was certainly my favourite, a room of double-height walls full to the brim of McQueen's most infamous work, including his 'Armadillo' shoes and the dress from his Spring/Summer 1999 collection which was spray-painted by robots. The section also features countless screens showing video footage of McQueen's most extravagant and unforgettable shows.

The exhibition even featured the ghostly hologram of Kate Moss used in his 2006 'Windows of Culloden show'. I was completely in awe during the exhibition as it portrayed McQueen as more than just a fashion designer but as an artist, a true creative genius who constantly pushed the boundaries of contemporary fashion and art. 

The showcase of McQueen last collection before his death, 'Plato's Atlantis' was certainly eerie and there was definitely a sense of foreboding, suggesting McQueen was uncertain about the future in more ways than one. Notably, there was actually very little about McQueen himself within the exhibition, other than the odd quote and voice over, however you can gather from his concept driven collections that he was obsessed with there being true creative meaning and inspiration behind each   of his collections, fixated with making the next bigger, better and more poignant than the last; which perhaps resulted in his demise. I wish there had been more about McQueen's life and the individuals who influenced him, such as Isabella Blow, as I believe this would have put his collections into more context, adding more dimension to the exhibition.

Despite this, Savage Beauty is a truly magnificent and unmissable exhibition, celebrating the work of Britain's most ingenious designer and I would highly recommend anyone to go see it! 

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