Alexander McQueen was often referred to as a genius by many in the fashion industry. His creations weren’t merely clothes, they were works of art that showed a daring and innovative mind who became the darling of the fashion industry.
After his death, some of his iconic works have been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2011. Organised by the Costume Institute, it became one of the museum’s top 10 most visited exhibitions, and now London, the home of the genius himself is now home to some of those works thanks to an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum.
The first and largest retrospective of the late designer’s work to be presented in Europe, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty showcases McQueen’s visionary body of work. Spanning his 1992 MA graduate collection to his unfinished A/W 2010 collection, McQueen’s designs are presented with the dramatic staging and sense of spectacle synonymous with his runway shows.
London was the epicentre of McQueen’s world. The son of a taxi-driver, he grew up in the city’s East End and left school at 15 to become a tailor’s apprentice on Savile Row in Mayfair. In 1990 he joined the prestigious MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins. Already a highly proficient and inventive tailor, here he learned how to be a fashion designer, drawing inspiration from London’s history, its world-class museums and emerging ‘Brit art’ scene.
Working with a small, closely-knit team, he produced a series of low budget, enthralling and provocative shows set in gritty, industrial locations across the capital. He recalled, ‘There was so much repression in London fashion. It had to be livened up.’
See highlights of the Fashion Gala held in honour of the exhibition with celebrities including Naomi Campbell, the Beckhams and Hollywood’s finest all coing to pay their respects to the late designer.