Think of me as a fashion idiot. I like clothes if they: 1) look good 2) are comfortable 3) don’t demand my monthly wage packet. My deities are my jeans, converses and a “pretty” top. Dresses are for special occasions or “the last resort”. Oh and high heels equal high falls. So how I managed to work with big fashion brands – Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, Boss, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Armani – for my last job, I will never know…
I secretly enjoyed working with Alexander McQueen though. Their dark seasonal campaigns seemed to portray a depressive state of affairs, e.g. Kate Moss clutching her voodoo doll, which left you wondering what happened to her? Their delivery boxes were possessed with a strong tempting aura, luring my curious heart to try on their latest collection. I couldn’t understand how a simple fashion accessory could make you feel like a “million dollars”. Although I dislike the famous skull emblem, I found a weird comforting darkness…..but I suppose that had a lot to do with the fact that I was wearing Alexander McQueen sunglasses!
Visiting the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, every room unleashed McQueen’s rebellious spirit. Passing through one room onto the next, every garment ordered you to interpret McQueen’s vision. I would like to think he really didn’t care how you interpreted his work, but I believe he did. I hate referring to paper gossip (partly due to the fact it can be based on lies!), but I read he was constantly praised for his work by the fashion gods, but chose to ignore his greatness.
I truly believe McQueen empowered women through his clothes. The models’ heads covered, shifting the focus from the face to clothes. Faceless bodies enshrined with leather or Swarovski crystals. It was to exhibit women’s strength through suffering, e.g. domestic abuse. With McQueen’s work, it’s all about performance and to simply shock his audience. He used our reality as his weapons and his clothes were the armour.
I absolutely adored the majestic gold feathered dress from the “Angels and Demons” collection. Personally, this dress signified the victorious strength from a near death experience. It was the classic ‘look but can’t touch’ so I was forced to imagine myself wearing this beautiful royal robe instead. At this point, I so desperately wanted to Moriarty’s guts….
Then, there was the elegant boardroom suite lined with McQueen’s fairy tale “The Girl Who Lived In The Tree” collection. The title is quite self-explanatory, but the collection narrates the story of a girl who ‘descends from a tree to marry a prince and then becomes a queen’. The luxurious golds dived into the world’s riches and distinguished the power of class whilst the bloody reds signified the blood of women whether it’s through the menstruation cycle or wounds. Okay….slightly deep and graphic I know….
The Cabinet of Curiosities was a room which was slightly overwhelming, messy eyed affair. It was difficult to concentrate and focus. Glancing, peering and pointing. I certainly wasn’t curious, I was stressed. I am not a keen bean for crowded spaces. However, I stumbled across a butterfly headdress. I loved how every single butterfly was pinned in flight.
I stood and watched this haunting hologram of a ghostly Kate Moss about a dozen times before I forced myself away. Perhaps it was the Schindler’s List soundtrack which watered the eyes, but Moss’ drowning helpless beauty was simply mesmerizing.
Leaving Savage Beauty in a emotionally wrecked slight daze, I wanted to return into Alexander McQueen’s mind palace…and kidnap the collections for my wardrobe. This exhibition saddened and frustrated me. McQueen was a genius. The demon of depression robbed his life and he sadly issued himself with a sell-by date. Through his vulnerability and pain, he became the artistic founder of creativity. My tragedy was discovering this amazing man after his death.
Buy tickets to Savage Beauty here