Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the V&A, London

You ask. We answer.


“I want people to be afraid of the women I dress,” Alexander McQueen once said. “This was the epicentre of his creations” I thought as I was browsing the exhibition “Savage Beauty” at the V&A yesterday. The exhibition was so beautifully designed and curated it created a unique experience for the visitor. I found myself lusting over the structured jackets which are so massively copied over and over again (All Saints anyone?), the shoes from the 90s – would not do well in those armadillo ones, and amazed by the plethora of innovative designs by borrowing and combining materials and designs from so many different cultures and cults. A dress made of plywood? Check. Of seashells under a wonderful tulle skirt? Check. A dress made of flowers? Check. Tartan and lace, leather, feathers, embroidery, beautiful Asian prints? Check, check, check, check and check. And a cabinet full of curiosities that I can’t even begin to describe….And the hats by Philip Tracey and those crazy jewels by Shaun Leane to compliment the “Savage look”. Wow!

Would one wear these creations? Some people more easily, but most of us probably not – even if we could afford to. Haute Couture is to inspire, to make us dream, to escape from reality, which is full of conventionality in our every day endeavours including the  clothes we choose to wear, as usually we wear conventional and utilitarian fashion. Some of his very elaborate and extravagant pieces were just made for the fashion shows; to provoke and poke at  fashion’s status-quo. I don’t know if he was a genius or not, but certainly he had charisma. His legacy still goes on and he will be a source for inspiration for generations to come. Don’t miss this show, especially if outrageousness and creativity are your source of inspiration too.

Find information about the exhibition here. A film on McQueen’s life can be seen here.


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