Looking back to the ‘90s, the top-notch fashion hunters and even those, whose interest in the fashion industry is limited by just looking through a couple of fashion catalogues, are sure to remember Alexander McQueen’s mind-blowing trousers called “bumsters” and challenging collection “Highland Rape”. The collections were followed by no less shocking ones, the most popular among them being “Widows of Culloden”, “The Hunger”, “What a Merry-Go-Round”, etc. So it becomes quite understandable why the British people granted him the title of “The hooligan of English fashion”. Naughty fantasy and naughty actions – this is how we can describe this extravagant designer. Five years later from his death the luxury fashion house continues presenting provocative collections that blow the mind and take one’s breath away. Alexander McQueen’s “Savage Beauty” exhibition is to be considered as a natural demand for real fashion addicts, which was brought to life by Victoria and Albert Museum, the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design.
The exhibition being open to wide masses for over 12 weeks, from March 14 to August 2, was a very important event throughout the fashion history. Presented in several thematic cabinets with a corresponding atmosphere, the exhibition attracted a huge number of visitors from 87 countries, fashionisers who were in a hurry to visit the museum and admire McQueen’s most spectacular looks, including those popular “bumsters” with a seductive design solution; Kate Moss’s luxurious dress with massive waves; dark and mysterious gothic style dresses so typical of vampires; national dresses, inspired by the great love for his nation; samples of naturalism covered with various colorful flowers and feathers; a series of curious design staples, the most impressive among them being a headwear composed of numerous red and white butterflies. In order to linger with the pleasure of admiring those pieces of art, V&A museum left the exhibition open throughout 4 consecutive nights for the last 2 weekends.
The online audience was also very active and interested in Alexander McQueen’s “Savage Beauty” exhibition. The figures speak for themselves: the total number of online visitors amounted to 3.5 million, 2.95 million of which were visitors to the exhibition web pages. According to the survey, 191,000 people have visited the accredited web feature “The Museum of Savage Beauty” where one can find the utmost clear images of the exhibits with their description and history. The YouTube video uploads related to the exhibition have been viewed for 350,000 times. Actually, the “Savage Beauty” exhibition also increased the V&A museum’s popularity, adding 18,000 new members to the existing 86,600.
The situation was also winning for the book, entitled “Alexander McQueen”. Being edited by Claire Wilcox in 2009, this accompanying publication is a collection of 28 essays, presenting profound and detailed analysis of “Alexander McQueen” phenomenon by 28 different fashion experts. Thanks to “Savage Beauty”, V&A museum has registered its most productive sale in the history, having sold 80,000 copies of the publication. Moreover, the museum succeeded in selling more than 1800 meters of Alexander McQueen silk scarves and 540,000 postcards.
The statistics clearly shows that Alexander McQueen’s “Savage Beauty” exhibition turned out to be a real fortune wheel for V&A museum and also providing a bunch of memorable moments to fashion gurus.
Photos courtesy of WWD