Renowned for bringing together the very best in high fashion exhibitions, the V&A have scored a hit once again with the upcoming ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’, which opens to the public on the 14th March. Curators have already extended the exhibition by two weeks having experienced record breaking sales for the soon-to-open dazzler; the first five weekends are completely sold out!
Iconic. A visionary. An artist. McQueen, who sadly passed away before his A/W 2010 collection had been finalised, earned his standing in the fashion world through his dramatic, refined designs. This retrospective of his work is set to astound visitors; hoping to offer a glimpse into the world of high fashion, which McQueen himself wanted to bring to people from all walks of life.
Although ‘Savage Beauty’ has enjoyed a previous outing at the Met Museum in New York, shortly after the designers death, the exhibition at the V&A is both the first and largest complete retrospective of the late designers work in Europe, and will span almost twenty years of McQueen’s life; from his 1992 MA graduate collection up until his tragic passing.
The show has been slightly re-worked from the New York exhibition, and more emphasis will be placed on London; after all, it is the city McQueen worked and lived in. It was in London where McQueen began his career as an apprentice tailor, and also where he studied; at Central Saint Martin’s. As such, it certainly seems fitting to house such a spectacle within the walls of the V&A; McQueen spent hours poring over the fashion archives whilst studying his degree.
The exhibition will be a third bigger than the New York version, with 30 additional garments on show sourced from a range of collectors and on loan from the Isabella Blow exhibition at Somerset House. In its entirety, there will be over 200 ensembles and accessories on show.
Divided into sections, the exhibition will explore themes which were prevalent in McQueen’s designs; Romantic Gothic, Romantic Nationalism, London, Nihilism and looking at the recurring Scottish imagery that was concurrent throughout his career. The themed sections will be accompanied by footage from early shows, such as The Hunger from S/S 1996.
McQueen always expressed a desired to bring both his clothes, and the drama of his shows, to a new audience, and ‘Savage Beauty’ certainly brings this dream to the fore; making the life and times of McQueen accessible to all.
As with many of the V&A’s exhibitions, booking is in recommended and due to the nature of this show, timed ticket slots will be in operation. Adult tickets are £17.60 plus booking fees.