Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

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 The retrospective of the year at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, entirely dedicated to the enfant prodige of British fashion

“I am a romantic schizophrenic”

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty starts this weekend at the Victoria and Albert Museum, until the 2nd of August. Borrowed from the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Savage Beauty brings together more than 240 accessories and clothes of the designer: from the first collection to complete his Masters at Central Saint Martins School of Fashion in 1992, until his last 2010 collection, inspired by Plato’s Atlantis.

A comprehensive retrospective dedicated to Lee Alexander McQueen‘s immense creativity and craftsmanship. Ten rooms entirely dedicated to his main inspirations, from primitivism, to naturalism and gothic, up to aquatic designs inspired by Plato’s Atlantis.

Embroideries, lace, silk, flowers, organza, white, red and black soft plumes. In McQueen’ s creations beauty is no longer harmony and balance of shapes, it is rather eclectic and endless inspiration, with an open-minded and unconventional approach.

The  Romantic Naturalism room is plenty of flowers, silk and white lace, and gives the visitor a sense of “dreamy” atmosphere, in sharp contrast to the previous Gothic installations. In the middle of Cabinet of Curiosities, there is a post-modern dancer, wearing a tutu decorated with punk yellow and black paint, turning on itself on a rotating platform. All around the platform outstanding creations, from a dress made entirely with white feathers to the Swarovski Crystal Bell Jar Dress (2009 collection)  created in collaboration with the Austrian jewellery company.

His kaleidoscopic approach to fashion impressed the spectator, forced to a radical rethinking of the concept of fashion. Fashion is no longer only a presentation of collections, is transformed into a theatrical and spectacular drama.


Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

14 March – 2 August

Victoria and Albert Museum

Cromwell Road, SW7 2R, London

For further information:

(Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, in partnership with Swarovski, supported by American Express, with thanks to MAC Cosmetics and made possible with the co-operation of Alexander McQueen, runs from 14th March – 2 August –


G.  P.



Hello, my name is Paul Smith

 The eclecticism between Fashion and Art on display at the Design Museum in London

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(Photographs courtesy of the press office of the Design Museum )

It is a universe of beauty, spark, creative twist and genius which is currently on display at the Design Museum.

Fashion, and much more. this is the essence of Paul Smith‘s brand, an inspired and always creative artist which is framed with a brilliant and comprehensive exhibition on the banks of the London Thames.

The first room of the exhibition is devoted to the beginnings of the British designer’s first tailoring: a tiny room of only nine square meters that accurately reproduces his first fashion shop in Byrd Lane, in the English town of Nottingham. ‘Paul Smith, vetement pour homme’ is his first trial, a small shop which was open only on Friday and Saturday with the money earned with freelance jobs.

Photographs, sketches, colourful moodboards and colour palettes enrich the exhibition, sealing the creative and a bit mad geniality of Paul Smith. Versatile artist with unlimited inspirations, he seems to epitomise the Niezsche’s child with naïve echoes. The British designer is an example of a perfect blend of classic minimalist style and eclecticism of inspiration.

A room is a reproduction of his London private office, full of objects he usually uses as a continuous source of inspiration. Oil colours, watercolours, books, clothes and dolls to remind the audience that the British brand is far from the idea of fashion as something merely frivolous.

Smith personally is usually to choose fabrics and materials that will be used for the creation of fashion collections. Smith follows with professionalism and attention the selection of building materials and furnishings for the creation of his elegant studios around the world.

“Literally anything can spark off an idea”, says the British artist who personally oversees the creation of each and every fashion store. The artist usually personalises his stores around the world (London, Milan, Shanghai, Los Angeles) with a team of architects and designers.

The designer began his first experiments in Nottingham helped by his wife Pauline Denyer. The first atelier was set up in a hotel suite in Paris in 1976 and the collection included only six shirts, two jumpers and two suits. A three-dimensional reproduction of cardboard in black and white has been placed in the exhibition to draw the viewer into the Paul Smith’s story, from the very beginning.

Today, the Paul Smith brand is well renowned all over the world, with a thriving market that finds popularly in distant lands such as Japan. Anticipating the upcoming shows in London and Paris, take a look at his collections, ‘classic with a twist’.

Souzou: Outsider Art From Japan

Souzu: Outsider Art From Japan

28 March – 30 June

Wellcome Collection – London

A new challenge for art curators and spectators:  the spring Wellcome Collection exhibition shows art works from people with disabilities. A unique collection created by 46 Japanese artists living in social welfare facilities.

Souzu is a Japanese word which means creation and imagination at the same time. Both meanings allude to a ‘force’  by which new ideas are born and take shape in the world

The exhibition brings together different art works such as drawings, ceramics and textiles to demonstrate that disability could be a huge incentive  for creativity.The aim is to explore the process of making through different six sections which are: Language, Making, Representation, Relationships, Culture, Possibilities. 

The Language section explores the artists’ ability to convey their thoughts and feelings by visual art, as verbal and written communication is challenging or impossible for them. Works range from Takanori Herai’s diary with black and white hieroglyphics to Toshiko Yamanishi’s multi coloured love letters for his mother, in which she expresses her love with bright polychromes.

Making part of the exhibition is characterized by massive use of unconventional materials. From Komei Bekki ceramic art works to the army of little soldiers created by Shota Katsube and styled out of the twist-ties used to fasten food.

The subjects in Representation section are taken from artists’ daily life. M. K. drawings on cardboards are irreverent mockeries of advertising billboards with, for example, naked models while Satoshi Nishikawa creates huge fruits aggregating small ceramic rabbits.

Relationships is the section dedicated to the people loved by the artists. Here the spectator can admire Sakiko Kono’s cotton dolls, representing staff and friends who have been kind to her in the residential facility and Masao Obata’s red drawings on cardboard, representing beautiful and naked women.

In Culture  artists take inspiration for pop culture. In fact in this section bright movies’ posters and paper cartoon figurines are displayed. Ryosuke Otsuji ceramic Okinawan Lions are appreciable because in popular Japanese culture they are thought to ward off  bad spirits.

Last part of the exhibition is dedicated to Possibilities area, a place in which the visitor will find Norimitsu Kokubo’s fictional cityscapes, Shingo Ikeda’s calculation of his journeys on Tokyo subway and Shinichi Sawada’s ceramic sea-monsters and mythical demons.

In the last room of the exhibition several screens in which the spectator can admire brief interviews with some of the artists of the exhibition.

Don’t miss the chance to explore different abilities and endless resources of these unconventional artists.

Take a glance at the video to see most relevant art works displayed…

(Images courtesy of Wellcome Collection Press Office).