TheSavage Beauty exhibition starts with ten early Alexander McQueen designs that are featured in the new opening “London” section and include garments from early shows such as The Birds (Spring/Summer 1995) and The Hunger (Spring/Summer 1996) in addition to a young Lee McQueen providing a voice-over declaring that “There is no going back for me now. I’m going to take you on journeys you never dreamed were possible” and all we can say is that this is certainly true.
In this section the garments were lent by private individuals and collectors such as Katy England and Annabelle Neilson. In total, there are 240 garments and accessories which makes Savage Beauty at the V&A the largest number of McQueen items ever seen together. The exhibition has already sold 70,000 tickets beating the advance sales of 67,000 set by the V&A’s previous blockbuster exhibition on David Bowie.
The exhibition explores the main McQueen themes, with most being of McQueen signature interplay between light and dark and life and death whilst keeping the traditional Savile Row tailoring. Halfway through the exhibition is The Cabinet of Curiosities, a towering double-height montage of dresses, accessories and shoes, with the centrepiece being the Spring/Summer 1999 finale dress.
The exhibition also includes 66 additional garments that were not shown in New York City such as the white feathered dress from The Horn of Plenty (A/W 2009), a red ballet dress from The Girl Who Lived in the Tree (A/W 2008) and a Sworvski crystal mesh top from No.13 (Spring/Summer 1999) as well as showing footage from McQueen’s catwalk shows on the screens.
Savage Beauty is for the fashion savvy and the fashion rookie, both will gawp with wonder and it is safe to say that McQueen has finally come home.
Sat 14th March – Sun 2nd August 2015
Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL