Last week I went to the Alexander McQueen fashion exhibition at the V & A. One of the most anticipated exhibitions in recent years it did not disappoint. I will go as far as to say that it was probably amongst the best exhibitions I’ve ever seen.
Why is that, you may ask? Well, I see quite a few exhibitions every year and am fortunate to live in London where you get to see the cream of the crop. But what makes a great exhibition? It can be one or all of the following:
1. You love the artist, designer, theme, subject matter
2. The curation is exceptional
3. Both work hand in hand
In this case it’s definitely number 3. As I walked through the exhibition I kept thinking that Alexander McQueen would have absolutely loved it. The only major retrospective in Europe of this talented and visionary fashion designer, it celebrates McQueen’s career in the most spectacular way. A few years in the making, no costs have been spared. The attention to detail is exquisite and the production team deserves a medal. Lights, videos, rotating mannequins, holograms and the music will blow your mind and you’ll leave elated and inspired.
It felt like a wonderful theatrical piece of storytelling, starting with McQueen’s Central Saint Martin’s postgraduate collection of 1992 to his final designs for A/W 2010, completed after his death. The rooms became grander and more spectacular as you go along.
I loved this Romantic Gothic room, where all walls were lined with framed mirrors.
My absolute favourite part was the Cabinet of Curiosities, a double-height room with a plethora of box frames showcasing individual showpieces. I could have stayed there for hours, absorbing myself into McQueen’s world. Totally inspired, I was however also aware of the thin line between genius and madness.
Savage Beauty is definitely worth travelling for. If you live in London or in the UK then get yourself a ticket pronto. If you live in Europe, like fashion, museums and London, then make sure not to miss this extravaganza. Check for times and tickets. It’s very popular but look at maybe visiting early in the morning.
I cannot wait to go again.
“The collection at the V&A never fail to intrigue and inspire me. The nation is privileged to have access to such a resource….. it’s the sort of place I’d like to be shut in overnight.”
Alexander Mc Queen: Savage Beauty
Victoria and Albert Museum
14 March – 2 August 2015