Thursday, 16 April 2015

Savage Beauty

So it's finally here! Savage Beauty, the major Alexander McQueen retrospective, has hit the V&A in London, and at last the fashion designer's legacy finds itself back home. I don't think I've ever been quite so excited about a museum exhibition (which is saying a lot if you follow this blog) and never have I spent so long anticipating and imagining what it might be like.

Well, last week I was able to find out, sweeping past corridors of white marble statues and the familiar green glass sculpture to take it all in. Submerged into darkness and with the low thump of 90s club music echoing somewhere in the distance, it felt as though we were walking into one of McQueen's catwalk shows of the past. 

Inside were a series of interconnecting rooms, each representing a theme or show from McQueen's past. We met the gothic lacey gowns completely with S&M style leather straps, the romantic Victorian inspired pieces (my favourite) and the quintessential McQueen tartan, inspired by stories of the designer's Scottish heritage, as well as his final collection complete with space age shapes and those famous armadillo heels. 
I will try not to give too much away, as I hope that if you're reading this you will get the chance to go and see it for yourself. It really is a fantastic exhibition and both met and exceed my (incredibly high) expectations. The curators and staff at the V&A have done a  fantastic job at showing each collection and idea truthfully and allowing McQueen's genius to shine through. I loved the way that some of the outfits were placed within glass cases, as if they were ancient artefacts at a natural history museum.

The room of curiosities, which forms the centre of the exhibition, left us all in awe of McQueen's sheer force of imagination. Seeing each headpiece, corset and exquisitely tailored jacket in every nook and cranny of the crowded room, made me have so much respect for Alexander McQueen. How one designer had so many new, eccentric, genius ideas in his head I will never know. The deconstructed suits, the bumsters, the feathered jackets and tribal dresses all came from his imagination. I really appreciate the care and thought that went into every aspect of Savage Beauty, and also how the clothes were left to speak for themselves, with McQueen's personal life left unexamined and a background to his designs.

If you do get the opportunity to go and visit Savage Beauty then give yourself a good couple of hours to stare and marvel at the sheer genius on display. As you might expect, there are no photos allowed, so I've included a few postcards that I picked up afterwards, all showing pieces that are on view within the exhibition. I hope you're all enjoying the start of Spring, have a lovely weekend and I'll be back soon for some more fashion history goodness! xx

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