Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty

Following the tragic death of Alexander McQueen in 2010, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute launched the immensely remarkable exhibition of the designer’s extraordinary talents and his most innovative designs in Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. The venue witnessed 661,509 visitors, certifying the display as the ‘most-viewed fashion exhibition’ the museum had ever seen. The exhibition has since expanded, and received its own showing under the same title within London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), where it will become open to the public over the dates 14th March – 2nd August 2015.

Widely known as one of the most influential and imaginative designers of his generation, McQueen’s Savage Beauty issues 244 garments and accessories in a series of displays reflecting the Victorian-Gothic theme; a ‘dark world.’ Each garment exhibits the artist’s subversive tailoring, with strong elements of nature and its creatures inspiring the designs.

McQueen quoted –

London’s where I was brought up. It’s where my heart is and where I get my inspiration.”

You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.”

People find my things sometimes aggressive. But I don’t see it as aggressive. I see it as romantic, dealing with a dark side of personality.”

I find beauty in the grotesque, like most artists. I have to force people to look at things.

Savage Beauty will be the first and largest retrospective of McQueen’s work to be presented in Europe, with predictions that the exhibition with prove to have grown in popularity since it’s New York showing, and will therefore receive an even greater number of eager visitors.
Items from the designer’s initial MA graduate collection in 1992 spanning through to those unfinished designs forged for his A/W 2010 collection will occupy the displays, showing a vast range of ‘team-McQueen’s efforts. The ranges will themselves be showcased in spectacles mirroring that of the late designer’s theatrical runway shows.

Savage Beauty distorts contemporary designs with elements of romantic horror and paradoxical relationships: lightness and darkness, life and death, etc. The various rooms parading the innovative work of Alexander McQueen encompass these ideals, with sections labeled under some of the following categories:

Savage Mind – the development of tailoring

Romantic Gothic – leathers and bondage

Romantic Primitivism – bone-lined cavern

Romantic Nationalism – velvet feathers, tartan prints and embroidered chiffons

Cabinet of Curiosities – box frames of individual showpieces

Pepper’s Ghost – Widow’s of Culloden collection twisting illusions

Visit the exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the V&A Museum, London via the following site: