Expanded "Savage Beauty" exhibition impresses in London
The New York edition of Alexander McQueen-exhibition "Savage Beauty" became one of the most popular exhibitions in the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it was shown. On Saturday, it opened to the public in London at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
The exhibition has been expanded for its London run and features 66 additional garments and accessories. A new section, the very first one, focuses on the designer's early London collections and showcases, among other pieces, his famous "Bumster" trousers. It seems fitting to have the exhibition shown at the V&A, which McQueen said is "the sort of place I'd like to be shut in overnight."
"Savage Beauty" is a triumphant celebration of McQueen's career, taking the viewer through the inspirations for his various collections in rooms whose Victorian, opulent feel compliment the clothes. The exhibition's centrepiece, the room called "Cabinet of Curiosities", showcases one-off creations from McQueen's catwalk shows, including the dress worn by Shalom Harlow that was spray-painted by robots in S/S 1999's "No 13" show. It also screens most of his catwalk shows, bringing the pieces to life.
The beauty and sometimes menace of McQueen's designs come through clearly in "Savage Beauty", which focuses on his aesthetics and work, rather than his personal life or the context of the times in which the clothes were made. But for most of the viewers, the McQueen story is already well known, and they are clearly here for the clothes, not even disturbing the atmosphere by taking a photo with their phones.
"Savage Beauty" is already sold out online for March, but tickets for the evening shows are available from April. The exhibition runs until August 2.
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