Posted on June 12 2019
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
One of my all-time favourite designers is Alexander McQueen and in 2015 I was able to go and see the Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A museum in London. Savage Beauty exhibition celebrates the remarkable talent of "one of the most innovative designers of recent times". Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty was the first and largest exhibition of McQueen's work to be presented in Europe.
The exhibition was an amazing chance to be able to see some of his most famous work from over the years. You were able to get quite close to some of the garment, whether they were behind glass or not. Whilst I was there, I also decided to buy a book about McQueen and the exhibition so that I would be able to study it in the future and remember the exhibition as the years go by. I have to say that the room I remember the most was one of the last rooms because it had some of the outfits from his very last collection (Plato’s Atlantis) in 2010. They also had a video of the final catwalk blown up on a screen behind the mannequins which was just incredible to actually have the chance to be able to see. I also loved how they created an installation which was a reflection of McQueen’s 2001 collection ‘VOSS.’
Another great thing is the fact that at the flagship McQueen store in London, today, you are able to see some of the pieces that were on display at the exhibition but even closer. They also have diagrams, notes, booklets, textile samples and much more on display from a combination of McQueen’s work as well as work done by the current creative director of Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton. I feel like this was such a good opportunity to allow people to see all the intricate detailing and time that had gone into making these iconic garments. The fact that they still had all the casing/boxes from the exhibition and the popularity of it makes me think that maybe sometime in the future they might put the exhibition on again since it was so amazing. During the last few weeks of the exhibition, the V&A was open 24 hours a day in order to meet the demand of the people that wanted to come and visit.
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion
Another exhibition that some of us at the office have had the chance of going to is Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion at the V&A last year. The exhibition examined the work of Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, including over 100 pieces crafted by 'the master of couture'. The exhibition was made up of two floors where on the ground floor you were able to see a selection of his work from over the years and then on the second floor you were then able to see another collection of work from designers that had been inspired by Balenciaga. What I found most interesting about the second floor was the fact that you’re able to see just how much of an impact he’s had and how the work he’s done in the past still continues to inspire people today.
I really like the ground floor because of the amount of information and work from archives that had been provided for the exhibition, I felt that I was really able to learn a lot of things about him and his way of working. One of my favourite pieces that were in the exhibition was the pink silk taffeta dress that was spinning around so that you were able to get a complete 360 view of the dress as well as seeing the x-ray of the dress behind it too. I thought to have the x-ray accompanying the dress itself was cool because you got to see the insides of the dress from a different perspective.
Inside the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition
One of the most talked about exhibitions currently being held at the V&A is titled “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams,” which I have wanted to visit ever since I first heard about a Dior exhibition that was happening in Paris a while ago. I knew that the exhibition would be extravagant and amazing and from the photos and videos that I’ve seen from friends, I can definitely say that I was right.
“This exhibition presents over 200 rare Haute Couture garments drawn from the V&A's couture collection and the extensive Dior Archives alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, vintage perfume, original make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions.”
Even though the exhibition is mostly sold out due to its popularity, through research I have found that there are a few days in May where they still have tickets on sale and sometimes if you turn up first thing in the morning the museum sometimes have a few extra tickets for the day.
"The whole point of fashion is to make fashionable clothes available to everyone." Mary Quant
An exhibition that I would like to visit in the near future is the one that has just opened at the beginning of this Month at the V&A for the designer Mary Quant. She is one of the most famous designers from the 60s and is often associated with the invention of the miniskirt. The exhibition showcases the discovery of how Mary Quant launched a fashion revolution on the British high street, displaying over 200 garments and accessories and even includes unseen pieces from the designer's personal archive.
One of the reasons why I would like to have the chance to visit the exhibition is because I had really enjoyed learning about her and her work in my first year of University. I would love the chance to be able to see some of the designs in person. I would also like to continue to learn more about her way of working and her impacts in fashion. Some of the most striking images associated with Mary Quant’s garments are the ones that are modelled by Twiggy.
At the office, we all really enjoy going to exhibitions as it allows us to keep up to date with the fashion world and learn more about some of the most famous designers and their impacts on how fashion has been shaped to what it is today. We are able to see garments up close to understand how they have been made. As well as going to see exhibitions of other designers who we love or are inspired by, we also visit exhibitions about other artists too who express themselves with different media. Sometimes, their art can even serve as inspiration for textile and fabric idea, for example, Anjelica went to see the exhibition: Monet and Architecture featuring more than seventy-five paintings by Monet. After visiting the exhibition Anjelica came across this beautiful fabric that reminded her of Monet creations.