HONOURING THE LEGEND: ALEXANDER McQUEEN
If there were a higher resting place than heaven, it would be McQueen’s. This man’s endless contribution to a lifetime to fashion deserves limitless applause. It has only been five years since the demise of the highly accomplished designer (or an artist for that matter). It was JUST five years ago that he had showcased ‘Plato’s Atlantis’ that dared to defy the boundaries of fashion. He showed beauty in the detested and often paired contrasting elements like fragility with strength, tradition with modernity and fluidity with severity. McQueen always delivered a deep emotional outpour when it came to his garments that often led to conflict with the media. The element of theatricality was something which was always present in his shows.
The designer known to seamlessly blur the lines between fashion and art, was often inspired by nature, dark and edgy themes, and politically driven elements that have been showcased at the exhibition. The master of Avant garde would also feature unconventional silhouettes with quirky materials were bones, glass, leather, brocade, shells, feathers etc. (Let’s not get into the little nitty-gritties of McQueen’s great accomplisments or this article would run into pages.)
Moving forward, in honour of the legacy that McQueen left behind, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art held an elaborate display with 244 garments that spanned his 18 year career in the year 2011. It instantly became one of the most popular exhibits of the museum (That had to happen, obviously).
Although McQueen’s fame made him globally renown, his heart always lay in London. He once stated, “London’s where I was brought up. It’s where my heart is and where I get my inspiration.” Infact when his work was showcased in 2011, it caused quite an agitation among Londoners and thousands signed a petition for Savage Beauty to be brought to London. Finally, the announcement for Savage Beauty in V&A Museum was made last April. Spanning from 14 March – 2 August 2015, “The V&A has already sold 70,000 advanced tickets, and extended the exhibition by two weeks to meet demand. At the Met, Savage Beauty attracted over 660,000 visitors by the end of its four-month run, making it one of the museum’s top 10 exhibitions of all time, up there with a King Tut stop in 1978 and a Mona Lisa loan in 1963”, states CNN.
The exhibits boasts of being one of a kind (obviously its McQueen you’re talking about) with several sections divided on the basis of themes. The Cabinet of Curiosities is about the size of a room with 27 screens that present captured moments from his wackiest shows with the robot sprayed dress placed at the center. Pepper’s Ghosts drifts you to an alternate world into the finale of Widows of Culloden collection. It creates an illusionary effect that tricks the eye into seeing Kate Moss, a reminder of the floating holographic he did for his show. Among all the various exhibits, the Romantic Primitivism gallery catches the eye as several fake bones in one space reminds one about the depository for the bones of the dead. These were some among the many themes showcased for Savage Beauty. Lastly, iconic pieces created during the reign of McQueen have been exhibited. The garments are a true work of art and exude great thought and even better craftsmanship skills. His clothes alone speak for his identity, they are conceptually strong which have a voice for themselves.