I recently had the pleasure of seeing the V&A’s retrospective of Alexander McQueen’s work, and I must say that it was one of the best and most interesting fashion exhibitions I have seen in my life.
Every piece was incredibly exciting; their delight lay not in their wearability but as their existence as pure art form. Each room had a different theme which conveyed the complexity and depth of McQueen’s imagination and the wide breadth of sources by which he was inspired. This ranged from the Scottish highlands to the Victorian Gothic, and whilst all his work seemed connected they were also varied enough to make the whole exhibition fascinating.
My favourite piece was the a particularly beautiful lace and tartan dress, hitched
up to show the net underneath, which I thought was particularly gorgeous.
Second to this was the white dress which was sprayed with paint because I thought it was so intriguing, and even the previous dress had a great structure.
The way it was exhibited by the V&A was generally very good; each room was decorated so it fitted with the clothes; one room’s walls were made of bones to fit with the theme of primitiveness. The music was slightly eerie, and combined with the beginning film of McQueen’s face fading to a skeleton, the exhibition reminded the viewers of the darkness and isolation that McQueen felt which inspired the clothes. However, other elements of the way that it was displayed were much less satisfying; the pieces were extremely complex and intriguing from all angles, so rotating mannequins would have allowed you to see the entirety of the pieces, but they were only utilised about twice in the exhibition. Furthermore, there was one particularly full room, which whilst interesting, meant that some really intriguing pieces could not be fully appreciated because they were on very high shelves.
An absolute must see!