Alexander McQueen, It’s Only a Game, S/S 2005, Image: firstVIEW
Next month, the first European retrospective exhibition of Alexander McQueen’s work will launch at the Victoria and Albert Museum and run for six months. British fashion designer Alexander McQueen was renowned for consistently pushing the boundaries of tailoring and design, and the exhibit will pay tribute to his creative talent, containing his designs from 1992 until 2010. Having once described the V&A as being the sort of place he’d like to be shut in overnight, this new showcase is one of many partnerships the V&A have entered into with McQueens work, having been one of the first museums to show McQueens work in their 1997 exhibition, Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion 1947-1997.
Although the exhibition originates from the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the V&A has given the displays a unique twist by making numerous additions. It has been designed thematically in order for the visitor to be fully submerged in the ideas central to McQueen and his designs-subversive tailoring, gothic sensibility and interplay between light and dark. This engaging and thought provoking structure was designed in collaboration with Gainsbury and Whiting, who were the production company behind McQueens extravagant catwalk shows.
The new sections that have been added depict McQueen’s development as a designer in London, and over thirty additional garments have been incorporated into the display, including rare pieces lent by private collectors, such as Annabelle Nelson. Stunning garments, including a white feathered dress, featured in the AW 2009/10 show, The Horn of Plenty, are partnered with recreated iconic moments; the most notably being when Kate Moss appeared in a gown of rippling organza as a holographic 3D image, part of the finale of the AW 2006/7 Widows of Culloden show. A Cabinet of Curiosity is also featured, which is unique to the V&A, and showcases McQueen’s collaborations with fellow creatives, including jeweller Shaun Leane. Amongst these 40 objects are legendary pieces, such as the black horned headpiece which was designed for Givenchy in 1997.
Being described as a celebration of the most imaginative and talented designer of our time by Sarah Burton, the Creative Director at Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty is running until 2nd August at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.Victoria & Albert Museum Cromwell Road London SW7 2RL