Where to begin?
The Alexander McQueen – Savage Beauty exhibition was filled with chiaroscuro – the drama of contrasting lights and darks both visually and emotionally, presented with the dramatic staging of spectacle synonymous with McQueen’s runway shows.
Darkened galleries with reflective light and mirrors added to a Federico Fellini like fantasy.
Aldous Huxley’s, Brave New World came to mind along with Stanley Kubrick’s, A Clockwork Orange, and as I moved through the galleries, a sense of falling through the looking glass with Alice…..prevailed. Feelings of a dystopian and Utopian world emerged.
During his short life, (1969 – 2010) McQueen gained his technical prowess as a Saville Row apprentice….however, it was the marrying of the intangible with technical prowess and his enormous creative energy that brought this young man to the attention of Givenchy where he was chief designer from 1996 til 2001 and the likes of Isabella Blow (mentor and muse) who introduced him to hat maker Philip Treacy in 1992.
Throughout the exhibition we see his collaboration with Philip Treacy. Both men influenced by the gentle and savage beauty beauty of nature.
The high light for me was entering the inner chamber with its very high ceilings, filled with ethereal sound and reflective light, displaying artefacts and videos from the designer’s entire career.
Like a rainforest where we need to be there to experience the bombardment of all of ours sense, so it is true for this chamber.
Powerful, exciting, disturbing and yet filled with immense beauty, this is an exhibition that will stay with me.
Thanks to my friend, Greta Chaffer for getting me in……
The Exhibition runs til 2nd August.