Since I heard last October/November that the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York would be shown in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, I knew that this was a chance of a lifetime. London isn’t that far away, and if booked in advance, the flights aren’t too expensive either. So I dreamed about going until my mother told me to just do it: set a date, book the tickets and fulfil my dream. And that’s what I did last weekend.
Together with a friend, I went to London for three days and the highlight (and purpose) of the whole trip was definitely the exhibition. A-MA-ZING. Really. I was in awe the whole time. I thought I knew what to expect, as I own the catalogue of the Met exhibition and I knew that they would show basically the same items. But I was not prepared for how they were shown. Each room had a different theme, a different motto and was designed accordingly. There were beautiful gilded showcases with tarnished mirrors, one room covered with panelling, another one with bones. Clean white tiles stood in contrast to a curiosity cabinet in black, flowery wallpaper to mirrored niches.
And the clothes! Seeing them up close was an experience I’ll never forget. Those details, those textiles, those seamlines! All these iconic garments I only ever saw on images in books or on my computer screen where right in front of me, so close that I could have touched them. I tried to take it all in, to fill my brain with these images, to soak it all up. I could have spend a whole week there, looking at each garment form every possible angle, preferably having a look at the inside of the clothes as well, trying to understand a bit more of McQueen’s genius.
I was especially glad to be able to study some of the garments from my favourite collection ever, Widows of Culloden (Autumn 2006). Even the Kate Moss hologram from the show’s finale was featured – it was hauntingly beautiful, scary and strangely attractive at the same time.
Sadly, my pictures do not do the clothes much justice. Some rooms were very dark and actually, I wasn’t even allowed to take any pictures. But I had to ignore this and snap at least some… Additionally, I also got the catalogue of the exhibition, which is different form the one from the Met – It is filled with essays, pictures of the shows, McQueen’s sketches and behind-the-scenes photos. I highly recommend it!
More about London will follow soon!