Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Beautiful Savage Beauty

               Savage beauty indeed. Wild and untamed, but beautiful in all her glory. What possess savage to be beautiful in the first place, who merged those two words together in the fashion world for all of us to enjoy it?  It could only be one person, Lee Alexander McQueen.

           One of the most influential designers of his generation and our time, set the bar high for every designer that came after him. It wasn`t an easy task for his long term assistant Sarah Burton to fill when she took his "shoes" after his tragic passing in 2010, but McQueen`s label flourished under her guidance and is currently more than successful. In his legacy McQueen left thousands of influential designs that gave us sense of fantasy and rebellion, also challenged and expanded the understanding of fashion beyond conceptual expression of culture, politics and identity. 
         To understand better where his passion came from we need to look in the early stages of his life where he began to educate his love for fashion. Education at the traditional Saville Row Tailors Anderson and Shepard followed by Gieves and Hawkes gave him the roots to the technical construction of clothing. From there he moved to the theatrical costumiers Angels and Bermans where he mastered six methods of pattern cutting from the melodramatic 16th century to the razor sharp tailoring which became his recognizable signature. It also gave him the necessary tool in mastering the most important skill a designer should have, how to construct  your own  idea. 
       Shortly after his death,  The Costume Institute organized the exhibition in 2011, that celebrated his extraordinary contributions to fashion. It contained his work from Central Saint Martins postgraduate collection of 1992 to his last unfinished collection and runway presentation of 16 models, which took place after his death in February 2010. In total, the exhibition managed to collect approximately one hundred ensembles and seventy accessories drawn primarily from the Alexander McQueen Archive in London, with some pieces from the Givenchy Archive in Paris as well as private collections, signature designs including the "bumster" trouser, the kimono jacket and the three-point "origami" frock coat.  It turned out to be one of the most popular shows in the history of New York`s Metropolitan Museum. Exhibition`s wild success attracted more than 660,00 visitors in 2011 making it the eight most visited show in the Met`s 142 year history and putting it in a top 10 that includes the time the Mona Lisa  came to Manhattan in 1963 and a Treasures of Tutankhamun show in 1978. 
           After the steaming success in New York,  it was announced earlier this week that "Savage Beauty" is coming to Victoria and Albert Museum in London from 14 March - 19 July 2015. It would be the first and largest retrospective of McQueen`s work to be presented in Europe.   The V&A`s  director, Martin Roth, said:  " I`am thrilled to announce that the V&A will bring this wonderful exhibition to London to celebrate the extraordinary creative talent of one of the most innovative designers of recent times.  Lee Alexander McQueen was brought up in London, studied here and based his globally successful McQueen fashion brand here - by staging the exhibition at the V&A it feels like we are bringing his work home. "
          Jonathan Akeroyd, chief executive of the Alexander McQueen fashion house, said: " Savage Beauty is a story telling of the most imaginative and talented designer of our time. We are incredibly proud as a house to be able to showcase Lee`s visionary body of work on London as a celebration of his legacy and an inspiration to a future generation.". So, if you happen to be in London during the exhibition opening don`t miss out on this exquisite pieces of art. Tickets are already online at the Victoria and Albert Museum, so you can plan ahead your Beautiful Savage Beauty memory lane.

Sources that helped in creating this story are:  

                                                                                    Written by Melina Marelja

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