Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty

photo (4)When I was waiting to enter the Savage Beauty exhibition, I looked at the date stamp on my ticket – 18th April 2014. Had I bought tickets almost a year ago? In fact as soon as I heard tickets were on sale I bought mine and didn’t actually think March 2015 would roll around. But it did.

I didn’t take any pictures while I was in the exhibition (besides a really blurry one I took before I was told that photos weren’t allowed) but my post is full of photos all at the end. I know some people don’t want to see everything before they go, so I wanted to warn you all.

I never knew much about Alexander McQueen until today – I knew he was a genius with an imagination more extraordinary than anything else and I knew he was a fashion designer. I was aware of the shoes and masks he designed and how he used animal and plant motifs in his work. But that was more or less it. It all changed today as soon as I stepped in.

When I usually look at clothes a wave of lust goes through me because I want it all. With Savage Beauty I felt the same thing but mixed in with that was the knowledge that these clothes were so much more than that. Some were cruel, some looked painful, and almost all of them were works of art rather than wearable clothes. That made the whole experience so much less enjoyable and more important. Because this was all Alexander McQueen’s mind wasn’t it? That element of fear and darkness was so evident.

For example all of the mannequin’s faces were covered and they went from being anonymous to being completely, well, masked. I was not a fan of that and I don’t understand why McQueen wanted to do that, but there is no doubt that it added to the exhibition and that they were all stunning, in their own terrifying way. But this is when I run out of words explain why I was still swooning. I was swooning at the masks and the macabre, beautiful gowns and jackets because I liked them. Simple as that. I would see the artistry that went behind them all.

The main problem with this exhibition was the lack of context. As I mentioned, I wasn’t very knowledgeable on McQueen but after reading other reviews I understood that the exhibition was very bare in some areas – I want to know more about the man and these questions aren’t answered. There is almost nothing about McQueen’s personal life, nothing about his friendship with Isabella Blow and how her suicide affected him, nothing about the initial reaction to McQueen’s 1995 Highland Rape collection. I am there is a lot more information in the official catalogue, but I would have loved more throughout the exhibition.

It was so easy to not be disturbed by what I was seeing, very easy to go along with the ride and fall in love with some of the clothes. I was transfixed.

MTI4NzExNzkxOTkwNTc2NDAy“Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images MTI4NzExNzkyMjU4OTg0NTc5“Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

 I loved this cape. Loved the theatricality and flair of it. With the mask and the trousers, this mannequin looks like a very modern grim reaper.  MTI4NzExNzkyMjU5MDc4NjIy“Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images MTI4NzExNzkyMjU5MDExODU4 “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images MTI4NzExNzkyMjU5MDEzMDg2 “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images MTI4NzExNzkyMjU5MDI0OTA2 “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images MTI4NzExNzkyMjU5MDUwMTE1 “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images MTI4NzExNzkyNTI3NDg1NTcx“Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

 In this room were so many pieces I loved – one one side you had a collection inspired by a trip to India (there was one piece, one I can’t find a picture of anywhere that I was to own so bad) and on the other you had tartan dresses inspired by the Jacobite uprising on 1745 in Scotland. MTI4NzExNzkyNTI3NDIwMDM1 “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images MTI4NzExNzkyNTI3NDQ4NTQy “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images MTI4NzExNzkyNTI3NDYwMzYy “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images MTI4NzExNzkyNTI3NTUxMTA3“Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

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