Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A

Rose Rayment

The event I attended was the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A. The whole show was a massive walk through of all the mental designs the McQueen had created before he sadly passed away. The creator of the exhibition was Claire Wilcox herself. After having known McQueen for many years, in her role as fashion curator at the V&A, where McQueen would have private appointments to meticulously research their historical collections. I think it was a huge accomplishment that the exhibition was set somewhere so close to the heart of McQueen, making the whole experience feel even more special.

The actual experience was beautiful, it was like entering the wardrobe of an evil queen. All the designs had similarities, but they were also different, for example one row of garments may have been using the same fabrics and colour scheme but they were all individual and true to themselves it was mad to think you could do so much with one idea, I remember being fascinated.


McQueen used such an array of materials on his garments, three was an entire dress made of feathers and there were bodices coated in Swarovski crystals. There seemed to be anything and everything there.


Although the whole thing was simply stunning, I think the way the exhibition was laid out and planned was one of my favourite things. All the shelves and cases for the garments all matched the collection they were housing so well and it really added to the aesthetic of the whole place, every room you went in there was something to look at, they never missed a detail it was beautiful and truly pulled the whole thing together so well.

I also liked the diversity in the outfits, although they still had the overall touch of Alexander McQueen you would walk in one room and be slapped with Marie Antoinette, renaissance inspired gowns ad the next room would be all about alien like shoes as if I was at some intergalactic fashion show.


The event was about all the high fashion designs that had come out of Alexander McQueen in his short lifetime. There was lots of information about the details of each garment and there was also a room where we saw more of him and things about his life, but the main focus was the presentation and showing of the actual garments themselves.

In all honesty, I think they got the whole thing pretty spot on, maybe they could have done an actual runway-based fashion show which would give us a much more authentic experience however the placing of the mannequins and the way everything was laid out made up for the fact you didn’t see the dresses on real people but of course I understand why they may not have been able to do that.

I would 110% recommend this exhibition to others, even if you aren’t all that into fashion or even McQueen that didn’t really matter. The whole thing was a show and despite whether your super into it or not you could admit it was an impressive showcase. Every detail was thought through and the place wasn’t even difficult to walk through, as well as the actual exhibition the place flowed well and considering we were only some of the 480,000 tickets that were sold it must have proved quite the challenge getting everything/ everyone organised, even if it wasn’t as busy on days.

All in all I think was a genuinely fabulous experience, everything was perfect and even though I was about 11 or 12 when I went I still remember feeling so inspired to peruse fashion when I was older, seeing the way the fabrics just melted together so delicately I just couldn’t stop thinking about how I wanted to create beautiful garments like that one day. Just like McQueen said in 1998 "I was like a wild child when I got to Swarovski. I wanted to have everything, to touch everything. And I don't just want to use crystal - I want to invent something new" it made me want to invent something new.







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