The day had arrived. I was incredibly excited.
It was 8:30am on a Friday morning. I stood eagerly outside the V&A about to enter the Sold Out Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition. It was raining, I had no umbrella (as practical as ever), but I didn't care as I waited in anticipation. There’s something you need to know about me, I absolutely love fashion, always have since a young age. I look at the beautiful creations of my favourite designers in the same way as I would works of art. McQueen is one of my favourites and I have always found his creativity inspiring as his designs are bold and brave.
As I walked into the first room I knew I was in for a treat. It was as intriguing and gripping as I’d imagined it would be. It was obvious that this was a fashion exhibition like no other I’d ever seen. This was a visual treat and these were definitely more works of art than pieces of clothing. They all had a unique story to tell, sometimes romantic, sometimes disturbing and cruel. The Clothes were beautiful and I was completely transfixed.
McQueen famously designed from the side, the body’s worst angle, to ensure the clothes worked all the way around. The clothes are like armour.
I Love the sculpted well structured jackets which have an unconventional air, distracting from all the bits us women want to hide. Mcqueen wanted to make a woman feel powerful.
“I want people to be afraid of the women I dress” Alexander McQueen
'A Cabinet Of Curiosities' to me was definitely the highlight of the exhibition. I sat down in the middle of the room, surrounded by towering shelves with displays of dresses and accessories, inserted amongst screens showcasing videos of McQueen’s incredible catwalk shows, and was transported into his World, his mind. I was so transfixed, that I must have been there for over an hour without realising it.
The cabinet showcased everything from Philip Treacy’s famous “butterfly” headdress created for the la Dame Bleue Show in 2008, to the “armadillo” shoes and the reproduction of model Shalom Harlow being sprayed with paint by robots, recreating the drama and intensity of the Alexander McQueen fashion shows.
Within the Romantic Gothic Gallery was the Angels and Demons collection. This collection was inspired from the dark inspiration of poet Edgar Allen Poe and the Victorian gothic for the Alexander McQueen/Givenchy (A/W 1997) collection, of macabre bird-women, which included a gown with bodice, sleeves and high collar formed of golden feathers.
McQueen’s final 'Platos Atlantis’ show. inspired by Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859) was a fitting ending encorporating the digital age.
As wonderful as the exhibition was, in my opinion McQueen should have been put into context of the art world of his era and so many parts of his journey should have been referenced in this exhibition.
His years in Savile Row where he trained as a tailor’s apprentice, and his period at the House of Givenchy where he experienced haute couture. I do wish that the exhibition would have explored this tortured genius more.
I was however taken on a journey through the mind of the designer.
It as always a dream of mind to combine all art forms into my albums and live shows and I walked away inspired and full of ideas.