Victoria and Albert Museum, 14 march-2 august 2015
The history of fashion is full of refinements, inventions and treatment of surprising materials. - Alexander McQueen (1969-2010) became the inheritor and interpreter of many areas of the history of clothing. It is thus at the heart of an area of influence that drink to the various forms of "Gothic" English (and international) to primitivism, to pop art, robotics, history of Japan (armor, kimonos) and the entire East, punk culture, etc.
The "enfant terrible" of fashion across the Channel (soon became international and downright alien) was building for each of its carnival parades of Icons - all most archaic and avant-garde. Erasing the differences. Crossing genres. Glaucous masks covering the faces of his models, and détressant braiding hair that end up in wigs in "parts-mounted" and surprising helmets. Hair and horsehair are also used to fringed skirts that sway and waltz at every step during the parade of models.
The woman here is a bird, a futuristic amazon, a sort of Venetian Casanova, a curious white clown (the face enhanced with a huge red mouth), a dark and disturbing witch, or a samurai archer, an oyster (pearl), an egret or a fantastic tale princess.
British, "so British", his creations as much to borrow finery Elizabethan Victorian clothing as the nineteenth century. The starched collars and embroidered farthingales and embroidered by side with gold braid and impeccable martingale officers outfits. The "Scottish" (mainly red) kilts, paired with more contemporary elements and accessories, alternate with black and white architectures (zebra and rafters) of the fabric "houndstooth" that deconstruct so many of his silhouettes.
McQueen excels in the treatment of a variety of materials: paper, rags, cloth, wood, feathers, beads, snake ... and up bird talons mounted as epaulettes. Often recreated in various materials - Complex trimmings, steel, leather, plexiglass, etc., the living and natural materials lend themselves to a thousand metamorphoses.
Made of ivory silk organza, crepe georgette and chiffon, the " Oyster "Dress (dress or shaped oyster, 2003) develops (in the way that it mimics the shell) hundreds and hundreds of wrinkles and folds, honeycomb, ondoyeux and unstable. - Clothes - or vêtures - Alexander McQueen are made to be worn and messed up, driven by the motion of walking, dancing or the many performances that have punctuated his shows.
From the tip of the heel or excessive bases of his shoes to the extreme height of his headgear forms of wigs from another age, theatricality is part of the Great Work of Alexander McQueen. It is found at every step in the heart of the exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. - Savage beauty.
"Savage Beauty", exhibition
Fashion Show : autumn/winter 2009