You have probably heard about the Alexander McQueen exhibition currently being shown at the Victoria & Albert museum which everyone is talking about in London! I went to see it a few weekends ago and I can only recommend you to go! I am sharing with you below some of the highlights of my visit.The exhibition is spread across several rooms presenting a large number of Alexander McQueen creations, from his graduation collection to his last show. They are covering the different themes which have influenced his work: London and Savile Row tailoring, his Scottish origins, the Victorian Gothic movement, nature, primitive cultures, romanticism, etc.
I was particularly impressed by ‘The cabinet of curiosities’ which is literally full, floor to ceiling, of shelves showcasing some of his masterpieces, accessories from his sidekicks, the milliner Philip Treacy and the jeweller Shaun Leane among others, as well as videos from his different catwalks. At the centre of the room, you can admire the spray painted dress from his summer 99 collection finale (check here if you want to see the video of its creation)!
Another room was quite striking to me: you basically enter a round anti-chamber which has a really dim light and walls covered in bones (not real ones off course :)) with alcoves in which McQueen’s dresses are displayed. It reminded me of a catacomb and I found it spot on with the creations showcased which are inspired by tribes costumes and are made using organic materials such as animal hair, leather etc. I thought Savage Beauty was giving credit to all the aspects of Alexander McQueen’s work including his catwalks staging, which were know to be surprising and even disturbing at times especially VOSS (S/S 2001 collection). This show has actually a dedicated area reproducing the box with two-way mirror walls in which the models were stepping in (if you are interested, check a video of the show here). The specific staging of this collection was meant to question the notion of conventional beauty and is an example of the types of reflections he wanted to express through his art.
If you are interested in knowing more about Lee McQueen, I came across the documentary ‘McQueen and I’ which you can watch here. Savage Beauty can be seen at the Victoria & Albert museum until the 7th of August. Check here for more details on the exhibition and book your tickets 🙂
Have you seen it? What did you think of it?
Have a nice day!