Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
I recently visited the extravagent Savage beauty exhibition exploring the life’s work of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen. Now situated at the V&A museum in London, the exhibition is built on the show that was presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The widely anticipated display shows a relfection of McQueen’s imagination throughout his work produced before the designer passed away in 2010.
You are met at the entrance of the exhibition by a moving image of McQueen’s face emerging with a skull on a large screen, introducing his presence which is felt throughout as you engage with his designs that are labelled with mere descriptions and quotes hanging on the walls around you. His work is shown through a number of rooms representing different themes categorizing his work, where his phenomenal designs are portrayed beautifully on mannequins placed around the rooms. All the while there is a dark, haunting sound echoing around the walls collabering with the well-considered lighting.
The first room you step into is named the London Room, where his early work is shown then moving into Romantic Gothic, a room full of a mixture of leather and black and red feather is displayed magnificiently, showing a fantasy that Alexander McQueen has designed throughout his outfits.
Romantic Nationalism top and bottom left. Romantic Gothic bottom right. Images taken by myself.
Following through into Cabinet of Curiosities where you will find the most captivating display of a number of Alexander McQueen’s creations, featuring hundreds of extravagant accessories. There are TV displays of some of his infamous catwalk shows through the years playing in between his designs drawing you into at least five minutes of awe gazing at the four walls surrounding yourself.
Cabinet of Curiosities.
Coming out of this room you move into a room where it displays an almost life size version of Kate Moss in a film installation representing the finale to the Widows of Culloden show where the model appears in the hologram which is produced by the ‘Pepper’s Ghost’ technique. The display is dramatic yet very emotional and captivates your attention as you watch.
The final rooms include the outfits part of the Romantic Exoticism theme where the designer has explored global influences and imported them into his designs, especially that of nature, where he has created a marvellous dress made from dried flowers and clam shells. Finally the exhibition finishes in Plato’s Atlantis, where his last fully realised collection is shown representing his vision of the future of fashion including his signature armadillo shoes on the feet of the mannequins.
Platos Atlantis. Image taken by myself.
The exhibition is one of the most moving exhibition I’ve seen, full of the late designers wonderful creations showing his incredible, captivating talent and celebreating the extravagant conceptions he brought to life throughout his designs. It’s definitely worth taking a trip to the V&A museum to visit this unmissable exhibition.