Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Savage beauty: Alexander McQueen

This exhibition at the V&A Museum is breathtaking, both for the way it is displayed and the work it shows. You come out reeling from the amazing inventiveness of Alexander McQueen, not only the clothes he designed but also the headwear, shoes, jewellery and the sheer spectacle of the catwalk shows. It is a credit to the curators that they managed to convey all of this through brilliant room designs that immerse you in the themes of the collections. McQueen was also a man who knew how to use lace – it is everywhere – but always used to effect, sometimes a small piece attached to fabric, at others a huge ruffle, an entire dress, or a veil over the entire face. Veiling, or rather masking, is another key factor in many of these designs which adds to their gothic feeling of personal confinement. I was interested in the lace, but beautiful workmanship can also be seen in the embroidery, metalwork and garment construction. One of the great things about this exhibition is that the spectacle is amazing but so are the fine details. It is one of the best exhibitions I’ve seen for a long time – visit it if you can.

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