Why You Should Go See Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty
“I read that it made Victoria Beckham cry” said one of my friends when I said I’d been to see the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A.
I bet it did. I had a lump in my throat the whole time I wandered around. It was extremely moving. Haunting. Bewitching. I stood watching a hologram of a woman in a dress for 25 minutes. Just staring. Mesmerised. The whole exhibition is like you are under a spell; there’s no other way to describe it.
It’s not safe, because McQueen wasn’t safe. Every piece on display suggests rebellion, breaking the norm and being brave. I’ve never seen anything like it. That’s because there really is nothing else like it. It made me think about how iconic his work really is; it’s difficult to be unique, especially in the fashion world, but he broke the rules time and time again. I love re-watching the old tapes from London Fashion Week too – back when everyone watched the show, cracked a smile every now and again. It wasn’t just a string of egos holding a smartphone.
Last week I went along to the Kensington Hotel, just a few minutes walk from The Victoria and Albert Museum, to review the Fashion Forward afternoon tea that will runs until 2nd August 2015 – all cakes inspired by Alexander McQueens iconic designs. The food included a cherry Genoese in the form of one of Alexander McQueen’s must have studded clutch bags, a red velvet and rose water cake presented in the style of the Butterfly Hat by Philip Treacy as seen at McQueen’s Spring/Summer collection in 2008. A delicate hand-decorated marzipan sable dress inspired by the Horn of Plenty Autumn/ Winter 2009 collection.
I was glued to reading the quotes on wall such as: “when I’m dead and gone, people will know that the twenty-first century was started by Alexander McQueen” and knowing he died in 2010, it was eery to see his words echoing throughout the rooms. He’d made so many predictions that came true.
The focus on McQueen’s love of London was incredibly special:
“You take inspiration from the street, with the trousers so low. You don’t need to go to India. You can find it in places like Bethnal Green, or down Brick Lane. It’s everywhere.”
We weren’t allowed to take photos inside, and I totally respect why. But here are some photos that inspired the exhibition.
I can’t recommend it enough. I keep thinking about it.
The ‘Fashion Forward’ Afternoon Tea costs £35 per person. Or experience an overnight stay Fashion Forward package priced from £315 per room based on two people sharing and includes breakfast, two tickets to the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at The Victoria & Albert Museum, a ‘Fashion Forward’ afternoon tea for two, and one copy of The V&A’s book on the exhibition. Package is available from 14th March – 2nd August 2015. www.doylecollection.com/kensington
Thank you to The Kensington Hotel & Doyle Collection who invited me along to review the exhibition.
How I Grew Up Online
“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE
"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"– The Debrief
“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic