I’m gonna tell you something you don’t want to hear
I’m gonna show you where it’s dark, but have no fear.
– Kavinsky – Nightcall
I really wanted to write about the Savage Beauty exhibit at the V&A for a while now. It was equally important for me to honour the museum’s requirement for no photography. Considering the amount of people watching the Alexander McQueen exhibition, I don’t actually think it would be possible to make any good-angled photos in any case. Still, all the thoughts and feelings started to hoard in my head – a release was vitally necessary.
A few years ago, a good friend of mine gave me a fantastic book on the late designer – Alexander McQueen: Genius of the Generation by Kristin Knox. Coincidentally the book carries the same sentiment as the Savage Beauty exhibit, so combining the two was in the stars. I call it emotional fashion. McQueen’s designs provoke you to feel. It’s you and Lee against the world, the rest does not matter. The fact that the rest doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter either.
McQueen’s designs emphasised an art-or-die aesthetic and that’s what I’ve always loved about his work. Theatre, fine arts, literature as well as historic, traditional craft and metalwork – all of it has a home in McQueen’s creations. It’s art that touches the soul and fashion that makes one honoured to be the owner of a piece by Alexander McQueen. It’s an emotional whirlwind and you are no bystander, not even a mere participant. You are at the epicentre of it all, the culmination point, the reason. You, the viewer, not even the wearer, play the hugest role in McQueen’s fashion.
Some designers design clothes to wear, McQueen created clothes to watch. With our mouths open and without uttering a word. The fear of beauty. Savage, captivating, all-conquering, mind-enslaving beauty.