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article imageReview: Savage Beauty — Alexander McQueen on show in London Special

By Tim Sandle     Jun 2, 2015 in Lifestyle
London - A major retrospective of designer Alexander McQueen's work is currently being exhibited in London, at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Digital Journal paid a visit.
The exhibition, entitled "Savage Beauty", taking place this summer at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum is the first retrospective of McQueen's work. Being on display in one of the world's most celebrated museums opens the question "is fashion is an art form?" I'm not qualified to answer that; however, it clearly is something that's visually impressive and of a rich variety that people find compelling and accessible.
Some of Alexander McQueen s fashion accessories on display.
Some of Alexander McQueen's fashion accessories on display.
Alexander McQueen was a British fashion designer and couturier. He was trained on Saville Row in London and went onto work with the fashion house Givenchy, before forming his own iconic label. McQueen committed suicide in 2010.
One of the information sketches of Alexander McQueen s life  on display at London s V&A.
One of the information sketches of Alexander McQueen's life, on display at London's V&A.
A wall painting of an iconic Alexander McQueen design.
A wall painting of an iconic Alexander McQueen design.
The exhibition was a curio: sometimes resembling a fashion show, at either times an art exhibition. Sometimes aspects seemed contemporary, at other times, partly due to McQueen taking inspiration from the past, the exhibits seemed drawn from yesteryear.
A display case showing some of Alexander McQueen s iconic creations.
A display case showing some of Alexander McQueen's iconic creations.
One of the most fascinating parts of the exhibit was McQueen's collected inspired by Victorian gothic, drawing inspiration from narrow streets and macabre figures.
An Alexander McQueen creation  inspired by the Victorian underworld and the haunts of Jack The Rippe...
An Alexander McQueen creation, inspired by the Victorian underworld and the haunts of Jack The Ripper.
A Gothic inspired picture of one of Alexander McQueen s mid-period creations.
A Gothic inspired picture of one of Alexander McQueen's mid-period creations.
Animals also featured heavily at times, along with Scotland in the form of a splash of tartan (as a nod to McQueen's own heritage), and Russian ballrooms. McQueen's designs work on various levels, not just simply as creatively designed clothes but also as art works, symbolizing different meanings and reflecting on folklore from around the world.
Various items of Alexander McQueen s designs on display at the V&A.
Various items of Alexander McQueen's designs on display at the V&A.
Some of the clothes were clearly not intended to be worn by average folk: dress of razor clams and a skirt made from plywood, for example (hmm... Clothes are ordinarily practical. Fashion, however, is not.) However, that probably wasn't the point: the design is to symbolize an emotion or represent an era, and to inspire the creation of everyday fashion.
Some of Alexander McQueen s early creations on display.
Some of Alexander McQueen's early creations on display.
One room continued hundreds of works, accompanied by ten or so screens displaying promos about McQueen's work or excerpts from fashion shows, where models, dressed in McQueen finery, strode up and down the catwalk.
Moving into the main room at the Alexander McQueen exhibition  where artifacts are mixed with video ...
Moving into the main room at the Alexander McQueen exhibition, where artifacts are mixed with video screens.
If you are interested in contemporary fashion and fashion with meaning, then the exhibition shows the work of a creative genius at work, and one taken away far too young in life. It is well worth paying a visit. Many of the clothes are beautiful and are more fitting for display in a museum than perhaps they were on the catwalk; perhaps more appreciated by the museum visitors than they were by the fashionistas at the time they were first unveiled to the world.
The skull motif is common to much of Alexander McQueen s works.
The skull motif is common to much of Alexander McQueen's works.
Such is the standard and uniqueness of the designs that many will be on display in museums like the V&A, as symbols of late twentieth century art and design, in years to come.
Crowds enjoying the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the V&A in London.
Crowds enjoying the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the V&A in London.
Savage Beauty - Alexander McQueen on display in London.
Savage Beauty - Alexander McQueen on display in London.
As well as the McQueen exhibition, London's Victoria and Albert museum is also well-worth visiting. The museum is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of almost 5 million objects.
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London  a view of the Roman antiquities.
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, a view of the Roman antiquities.
More about Alexander mcqueen, Fashion, victoria and albert museum, Clothes
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