Savage Beauty, the exhibition celebrating the creations of the fashion designer Alexander McQueen, originally opened in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2011, just a year after the designer’s high profile suicide. Now it has made the trip across the pond, and is currently occupying the V&A until August 2nd. The exhibition itself is immense, with well over 200 pieces on display and its popularity is astounding, with over 70,000 tickets have already been sold. The words ‘I’m a romantic schizophrenic’ are written on the wall as you enter the exhibition space- and it is very clear from the start that you have entered a world that is intelligently, fantastically mad. The curation of this space really brings this vision to life, with gold gilded mirrors reflecting romantic/gothic pieces from Horn of Plenty and in keeping the mannequins themselves as part of the strong performance aspect. Some have masks covering their mouths, some (like those wearing his 2000 autumn/winter collection Eshu) have horns coming out of where their faces should be. Apart from the curatorial decisions, it was the names of the collections that I found to be most powerful- Highland Rape for example, the 1995 collection which made his name in the world of fashion, shows both his dexterity with language and his ability to highlight his roots and show a rebellious streak. I would urge anyone who is interested (and even those who are not!) to go along- it really is an insight into the mind of a creative genius.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is running until August 2nd 2015 at the V&A. There is a student rate, for which you can see the exhibition at the reduced price of £10.20.