Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty is an exciting and glamorous and sometimes scary journey from the beginning. It is everything that is expected and more, with many people looking at the amazing couture saying the same thing, that the creations look so much better in their 3-D reality than in photographs. The show takes you from the beginning of his work to the end, beautifully curated by Claire Wilcox who says: “McQueen was the most influential designer of his generation. He had a love of storytelling … nearly everything that McQueen did was linked to a collaboration and collaborations helped him turn his visions into reality.” There are 244 garments grouped in key themes, Romantic Gothic, Romantic Primitivism showing his fascination with the natural world and Romantic Nationalism which highlights his interest in his Scottish heritage.
Right in the middle of the show is an amazing square room, the Cabinet of Curiosities (pic right) choc full with 120 objects displayed in ceiling height shelves. Feast your eyes on the White Feathers Gown, Philip Treacy head garments, jewellery and 27 screens showing catwalk shows which relate to the objects. In the middle is a rotating dress which was spray painted by robots. The next room is maybe the most memorable. It recreates Pepper’s Ghost, the finale of a 2006 catwalk show. A tiny plume of ‘smoke’ becomes a vision of Kate Moss in a flowing white gown, using a Victorian technique of mirrors an projectors. Ghosts of ghosts. It has been described as McQueen’s homecoming, back to London where he was born and where he lived. McQueen has said: “The collections of the V&A never fail to inspire me.” This will inspire you. Tickets £16. Saturday, 14th March until 2nd August. savage beauty Seven thousand tickets have already been sold. Worth getting up early for. If you can’t get a ticket now, £64 buys a year’s membership for you and four under 18s to go in any time to any exhibition.