A Visit to Savage Beauty – Alexander McQueen Exhibition V&A London

So after all the anticipation I finally made it to The Savage Beauty exhibition at The V&A London a few weeks ago and I’m so glad I made the effort to travel from Manchester to view it.

The exhibition spans the designers entire collections from his first graduation collection in 1992 to his final unfinished collection in 2010. The range of clothes on display is amazing to see up close. From his first fairly simple pieces, which highlight his obvious talent for tailoring, learnt from his earlier career on Savile Row, to his later designs, which gradually become more experimental and clearly show his fascination with the dark side of life, his Scottish ancestry influence and love of English heritage and global culture, it’s all in there!

The exhibition leads into a three tiered room, named the cabinet of curiosities, which perfectly captures the drama of his runway shows, with clothes and accessories, which he designed along with a team of specialists in their fields. Some items produced for his shows only and never intended to be produced, highlight his attraction to themes of fetishism and tribal cultures. The displays are enhanced with video interviews with the designer and  footage from his runway shows, layered with the loud sound of a tapping manual typewriter. I’m not entirely sure what the significance of this is but it all adds to the drama and it is a fascinating space in which you could spend hours taking in all the detail.

This space is a place to contemplate the brilliant mind of Alexander McQueen before you are led into the area which houses his final unfinished collection and his lasting legacy to the world of fashion. It’s all very poignant and tragic and you are left with some of his final words which leaves you guessing if he felt he had given his all?

Advance tickets for the exhibition have now sold out but if you are in London over the summer you could take a chance as tickets may be available on the day and I was told by a member of staff that it has been such a phenomenal success that for the last weekend of the show, the V&A are extending their opening hours and the exhibition is remaining open for 24 hours a day over that weekend. I wish I could have taken more photos to post, but photography is strictly prohibited and I just snuck a few sneaky ones but go, be inspired and be amazed.


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