Savage Beauty @ V&A…

He was the vision of the future of fashion. That was what Alexander McQueen was for me. His tragic death in 2010 ended my passion for runway fashion and I am still in mourning for his creativity. Every collection he sent down on the catwalk was eagerly awaited and it rarely disappointed me. However, the joy abruptly ended on one cold February day. 

When Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, hosted the original Savage Beauty exhibition in 2011, there was a whirl of spontaneous demand for a similar show to be held in the UK. After all, he was a British designer and his work should be celebrated in his native country, that was the consensus among the general public. There was an online petition for the exhibition and I signed up, prayinging if the V&A may relent to the idea.

During the summer of 2013, there was a rumour that the museum was planning the show and I was overjoyed. And then, the confirmation arrived finally as the V&A official announced that they were to host a retrospective exhibition of the late designer, Savage Beauty, from 14 March – 02 August 2015.

Same as the rest of general public, I never saw his real high-end couture until I visited the exhibition, Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! at Somerset House, Strand. Isabella’s inimitable style was completed with hats by Philip Tracy and frocks by Alexander McQueen. The result was an epitome of fantastic eccentricity which was to become her public persona. 

The exhibition was a poignant reminder of the loss of the two very special individuals, Isabella and McQueen. As I circulated the dimly lit gallery, I mourned how present fashion world lacked originality, gusto, calibre and excitement without them…

A V&A member’s magazine. 

I visited the exhibition twice already – the first time, with my dear friend Heza and the second time, with my teammate, Cælin. On both occasions, the galleries were packed with a predominantly female audience. The exhibits consisted of his pre-Givenchy collection to the last one shown after his death. It was wonderful to see the actual garments at last because until then I had to content myself with the photos in the runway reports and to use my imagination. I could admire the silhouette of his exquisitely cut suits and frocks but had no way to know how they were made and with what.

The only thought in my mind when I pushed the door to leave the exhibition was how much I missed his design and creativity since his death on that February day. I would have loved to see his vision evolving to provoke and inspire even more. He was one of a kind. An irreplaceable genius…


It’s such an irony that I would never have this opportunity to see the real McQueen’s creations if he was still alive. How I wished if he had survived and kept on producing his ethereal beauty. I would have been much happier if his frocks were beyond my reach…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

5 thoughts on “Savage Beauty @ V&A…

    • I am so with you too. I am still gutted about their death. Though, the high-end fashion is not a very happy place to be involved, I imagine. None of the main players, except big investors, seem to come out undamaged…

      • Yes, not an environment for sensitive souls which in the end deprives the fashion scene of quite a range of creatives and their input. The main players seem to have it pretty much sewn up.

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