Tag Archive: Victoria & Albert Museum

Oct 10 2014

First Look: Alexander McQueen – Savage Beauty At The V&A

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When the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York honoured Alexander McQueen’s brilliance with a retrospective exhibition back in 2011 I knew I had to see it, sadly a press trip I was suppose to be going on was postponed and I missed it by a few days. Since then I have hoped, prayed and signed numerous online petitions to see the exhibition here in the UK and was ecstatic when my favourite museum the V&A announced they would be bringing the sold-out Savage Beauty exhibition to London.

Yesterday I attended the press preview for the exhibition and I am so excited as it seems like the long wait will have been worth it as it is going to bigger and better than the original and generally take over the V&A. There will be 30 additional garments, including some rare pieces that couldn’t make the journey to New York, like the red ballet dress from The Girl Who Lived in the Tree collection from AW08 and the breathtaking white feathered dress from The Horn of Plenty AW09 collection, as well as pieces lent by private individuals and collectors such as Katy England and from the Isabella Blow Collection.

There will also be a Cabinet of Curiosities, which will showcase designs produced by McQueen with jeweller Shaun Leane and milliner Philip Treacy, as well as pieces from his time at Givenchy, including the exquisite black horned headpiece from the Givenchy SS97 collection.

I am also pleased that there will be a room dedicated to the designer’s early years, exploring his career as a  pattern cutter on Saville Row, as well as showcasing some of his earlier work, including a piece from his Hitchcock-inspired ‘The Birds’ SS95 collection, and footage from his SS96 The Hunger collection. There will also be a life-sized hologram of Kate Moss replicating the one that closed McQueen’s Widows of Culloden AW06 catwalk show and the exhibition will close with McQueen’s last fully realised collection, Plato’s Atlantis from SS10, which fused the designer’s love of the sea and technology, and was widely considered to be his greatest achievement.

The exhibition will be huge, there will be more than 200 ensembles and accessories showcased, over 10 sections, making it the largest ever collection of McQueen designed pieces seen together. Trust me I only saw four looks on display at the preview and I was blown away. The exhibition is going to be popular, the museum has already sold 16,000 tickets and it is widely expected to out perform the David Bowie exhibition that ran last year, so probably best to pre-order your tickets to avoid disappointment as it is only on from March 14 – July 19, 2015.

Is anyone else planning to see the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A next year?

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Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, runs from March 14 – July 19, 2015. Admission £16 (concessions available). V&A members go free.

Apr 03 2014

Exhibition: V&A – The Glamour Of Italian Fashion

VA Italian Fashion 5 Exhibition: V&A   The Glamour Of Italian Fashion %tagWhen I think about Italian fashion, I think about how many gorgeous luxury labels there are, and the exquisite quality that they bring to the red carpet in-particular. You have the romantic and elegant vibe of Valentino, bold and edgy fashion covered by Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, you have fabulous tailoring and minimalism from Armani, uber-sexy glamour from Roberto Cavalli and pure femme fatale from Gucci – and that’s without mentioned the beauty of Prada, the fun of Moschino, the divine prints of Pucci and the knitted beauties by Missoni.

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The V&A’s latest fashion exhibition explores all their influential contributions to fashion, as well as the rich passion of the Italian fashion industry from the end of the Second World War to the present day in its beautifully curated ‘The Glamour of Italian Fashion’ exhibition, which runs from April 5 until July 27, 2014.

One of the most striking rooms within the exhibition has to be the array of modern-day pieces, these are the most recognisable – from the hand-painted Dolce & Gabbana ballgown to a floor-length romantic Valentino gown and accessories including the Fendi baguette bag, Gucci’s ‘New Jackie’ bag and Tod’s vibrant driving moccasins.

Just seeing the red carpet beauties up close, especially the gorgeous Armani Prive gown from the spring/summer 2010 collection, encrusted with Swarovski crystals was amazing to see – the craftsmanship is just incredible.

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But the most revealing section had to be the opening ‘Return to Luxury’ area of the exhibit, telling the story of the early ‘Sala Bianca’ catwalk shows in Florence held in the 1950’s and featuring couture designers including Simonetta, just look at her spectacular 1950’s evening gown above, and Capucci, who became known for his sculptural style with this intricate multi-layered scalloped ruffled cocktail dress presented with a silver velvet stole from 1957.

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Other highlights had to be this red tulle couture dress by Valentino from 1977, the dramatic colour and the ruffles is so synonymous with his romantic and ethereal work. As was seeing the Bulgari emerald and diamond jewellery that was worn by Elizabeth Taylor in 1967 to a masked ball in Venice, the iconic jewels just show off what Italian glamour is.

This exhibition is so much more than fashion, it is a history on how Italian fashion became such a fixture in the industry, the earlier couture designers, as well as the rise of the country’s luxury fashion houses. If you love fashion, Italian style and gorgeous dresses – you will love this exhibition.

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The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014, sponsored by Bulgari, runs from April 5 – July 27, 2014 at the V&A.
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