Alexander McQueen, Vision and Craft

Plato's Atlantis

Plato’s Atlantis – Alexander McQueen, Victoria and Albert Museum

Recently mum and I were lucky enough to go to the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the V&A. It was breathtaking of course – soaring and and full of inventiveness, fantasy and flights of fancy. He was inspired by so many different ideas and cultures and turned them into – well art really. His clothes designs are less fashion, more art and his collections were really ‘shows’ that were a spectacle. For each collection he created a cohesive world. Sometimes these worlds came shrouded from myths –myths and religions around the world, or myths like ‘the noble savage’ – and sometimes they came from nationalism or the exotic. They always capture the imagination and cause quite a stir. What do these strange designs say? What are the clothes trying to convey? Is he a misogynist?

Underpinning this extraordinary vision was incredible skill. Alexander McQueen was apprenticed to a Saville Row tailor and his understanding of how fabric works was unparalleled. Part of what makes his clothes incredible is the the way the fabric drapes and hangs and moves. This was the main thing I took away from the exhibit. I’d never seen his designs ‘in the flesh’ and I spent quite some time studying the line each piece of clothing made on the mannequin. The curator had smartly placed mirrors behind many of the clothes so that you could see the back as well as the front. How I would have loved to attend one of his shows, get lost in his world and see the way his clothes moved.

What do you make of the provocative Alexander McQueen. Does he say thing to you get your hackles up? Do you admire his technical skills but not his designs?