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: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-alexander-mcqueen-savage-beauty/

(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 – http://www.vam.ac.uk/savagebeauty).

 

G.  P.

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The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

 

When: 9 April 2014 – 25 August 2014

Where: Art Gallery – Barbican London

Who’s behind: the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with Maison Jean-Paul Gaultier

 Into the mind and creativity of one of the most remarkable fashion designers of the 20th century

This new exhibition at the Barbican brings together more than 140 design items created by the French genius in more than a decade of artistic inspiration. In fact Jean-Paul Gaultier is probably one of the most eclectic and iconic fashion designers over the last three decades.

The leitmotiv of the exhibition is the childish and always impressed creative twists of the French designer. The exhibitions includes quirky dresses and outfits taken from the world of pop music, including the famous iconic bra and corsets worn by American Pop Star Madonna during her flamboyant 1990 Blonde Ambition World Tour .

There is plenty of British and London 70’s inspiration in Gaultier’s design garments. Inspired by 70’s vintage street style, Gaultier has recently declared his never-ending  love for British lifestyle. For this reason a section of the exhibition is dedicated to the world of Brit Punk. The room called Punky Cancan is entirely dedicated to the cheerful and prolific meeting between punkish British style garments with the French and posh haute couture. Ripped checked kilts and tartan shirts are gently and cleverly mixed up with French-inspired ball gowns and elegant suits. Combining the love for the couture with the British lifestyle is peculiar for him.

Plenty of raw talent, the France born designer never attended a fashion school. He was only 17 when he started sending his drawings to famous haute couture stylist. In 1970 Pierre Cardin hired him as an assistant and this event marked the beginning of a prolific journey for the enfant terrible of the fashion. 

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(Images courtesy of Barbican Press Office –  © Matthew Lloyd / Getty images).

Giuliana Patrone