Alexander McQueen’s retrospective, Savage Beauty, closed last week at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It was the largest display of McQueen’s work in Europe. The show ran from March 14- August 2 and during the run saw almost 500,000 visitors walk thru- a record for the museum. I was lucky enough to see the show when visiting London in April and it was an experience for all senses. The show conveyed the dark nature of McQueen’s work and relayed what a creative genius and trailblazer the designer was in his field. After viewing the exhibit, I realized that his runway shows were truly a work of performance art (i.e. a Kate Moss hologram “floating” down the runway, dresses being designed as the audience watched – see below) and in many regards, the shows, as “spectacle,” were as powerful as the clothes themselves.
Personal photos were not allowed, but below are some press images of my favorite part of the exhibit. The white dress was spray painted during a runway show in 1999 (top, image Catwalking) and on the bottom, the actual dress (image from telegraph.co.uk) as displayed at the V&A. I still get shivers down my spine thinking of the model flailing and spinning while the robotic arms paint her. Performance art at its finest.