The Victoria and Albert museum in South Kensington, London in England is one of the finest in the world. General entrance is free (although donations are encouraged and suggested) due to government assistance, however for special exhibitions like the Alexander McQueen one, there is an entrance fee unless you are a member or you are guest of a member. The exhibition runs until August 2, 2015 and entrance is by a timed ticket at £17.60. If you can’t make it, the amazing gift shops stock a wonderful array of merchandise, from skull key chains to books and postcards that usually remain in the shops for a long time.
McQueen took his own life on February 10, 2010 at the age of 40 and the exhibition depicts his combination of art, with his own dark side. On display are his eclectic headpieces, hats, masks and fascinators; all for the stage and to inspire others. The dark colors hide and the hats cover most of the face, like himself hiding part of his personality from the world. His use of materials combined luxury silks with feathers and leather as his dresses were long yet revealing. Corsets and bodices are laced with leather and incorporated into dresses with shoes to match. In the main room where cubed shelves are stacked high with accompanying videos, his work is displayed as a gallery. It can get a little claustrophobic in there, and one gets neck strain from the constant peering where the shelves are over twenty feet high. That is the one room that was poorly planned as there is no room to stand back to look. A small central seating area in the center prevents anyone from having a good view from a distance and restricts the number of people who can fit in the room.
His fashion was art; created to inspire and were statements. His Scottish heritage shows through with his elaborate use of tartan and his later work seemed to hide the face, as if he was hiding his emotions from the world. Chains and skulls are incorporated in most of his designs, symbolic of how he felt restrained in society and humanity. Few fashion designers have been able to express themselves so well through their art and be as successful. His company and brand continue today following his vision.
R.I.P. Lee Alexander McQueen; you left an amazing legacy and continue to inspire today, and many more generations to come.
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