night at the museum - savage beauty

If you were lucky enough to land a ticket to the hottest exhibition of the year, you would have been treated to a feast of fashion and dramatic splendour.

The Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum showcased his body of work as a graduate to his unfinished 2010 collection and offered a rare chance to see the incredible 240 pieces up close and personal.  

The show closed last week having seen over 400,000 visitors and has been the most visited paid exhibition over the past decade. 

In the end, the museum opened up overnight for the last two weeks and put on a bar and music at weekends – the mother of all nighters, to accommodate demand.

A perfect ending to this sell out show, given that Lee once said he dreamed of spending a whole night trapped inside the V&A.  

The Beckhams, Mario Testino and Kate Moss were amongst the host of celebrities attending the gala dinner to launch the exhibition and FKA Twigs performed wearing a 2008 McQueen birds of paradise gown.

One of the greatest fashion designers of our time, McQueen was a visionary blending the natural and macabre, taking equal inspiration from nature and gothic Victoriana.  

A son of a taxi driver from London’s east end, the hero-artist began with an apprenticeship on Savile Row,  polished his craft at St Martins and went on to take inspiration from London’s history and art scene.

My personal faves have got to be Birds Nest and Armadillo Boots – also loving The Girl Who Lived in the Tree.  Of course we can’t overlook the Kate Moss hologram and Lee's famous paint splatter dress along with the iconic duck feather dress.



Madeleine Wallner of Thrift vintage clothing attended on Sunday (the last day of the show) and got the low down for us...

"The show began with a larger than life image of McQueens face changing slowing into a human skull. A poignant reminder of his short-lived career and his all consuming passion for fashion, tailoring and art in all its savagery and beauty.

Bejewelled, feathered, gilded, brocade and mirrors, shadowy corners and angled visions. A master puppeteer of the shadows of the mind; projecting patterns through laser cut leather, swirling round into his Cabinet of Curiosities, I imagine like stepping inside Alexander’s mind…intense, direct, mind blowing.  

I admired the collaboration with Shaun Leane - his powerful metalwork, shown in headdress and facial metal structures, armoured breastplates and masks, which pushed the jewellers own boundaries through pattern cutting metal for the first time.



A beautifully overwhelming piece of theatre with wonderment at every turn - he made it all beautiful somehow."

McQueen took his own life in 2010 at the age of 40 but he's left behind a strangely beautiful legacy.  

Jo x


Credits: Madeleine Wallner Thrift Generation, images Telegraph, Pinterest