I had the tickets for about a year and, finally, Savage Beauty at The Victoria and Albert Museum opened last week. Yay, me, my wheels, tickets, fashion, couture … bliss.
And was it? Well, yes, if you are able to negotiate the crowds and can take being, somewhat, herded along.
I have sympathy with the organisers, I do. They need to make money from their successful events so they are able to finance the less popular, more forward, innovative and speculative events … and I do want them to be able to do this but … I hate the crowds and the herding.
I chose a Monday afternoon to go, thinking this would be less busy. It probably was but, if so, I dread to think what the weekends are like. But, hey, I’ve now been so I don’t care and I am glad I saw it.
A note on access before I continue and it’s a good one. There are disabled parking spaces down Exhibition Road and level access from road, up a slope and into the museum and right on through to the Savage Beauty exhibition space, the adjacent shop and the cafe round the corner. A few gentle slopes and small, inch height bumpy step levels to manage and I, one of the wimpiest power wheelchair users on the planet, had no trouble from beginning to end. Believe me, this is great access.
As for the exhibition, well, it was a must-see after reading about it, in New York, three years ago.
I was never a huge fan of MacQueen though I am willing to admit to a few occasional oohs-ahas at some of the extrovert, extravagant couture collections he produced. Spectacular, beautiful, wild but not my style.
And I guess that is where I remain but with a healthier appreciation of the craft applied and WOW’d by the occasionally exquisite outcome of the endeavour. The stunning gold-feathered coat-dress, above, in no way disappoints and was but one of my favourites from the impressive collection put together for this exhibition.
There is nothing like being able to get close up to see the workmanship and detail of couture fashion, to appreciate how ahead of their moment many avant-garde designers are and to understand the scope and originality of their creativity.
This exhibition enabled me to view Alexander McQueen’s work with a more objective eye than I had previously and, whilst not ‘my’ style, it is a truly admirable legacy that he has left here with us.
Fabulous exhibition that I’d encourage all lovers of beauty and style to see.
Savage Beauty at The Victoria and Albert Museum, 14 March – 2 August 2015.
Maybe you’d like to take afternoon Pret-a-Portea at The Berkeley afterwards … love these biscuits, below (have just remembered that access at The Berkeley used to be by precipitous ramp and lovely doormen. I did it in my non-power wheelchair and not sure my Balder power-chair would make it! Best check before you go. Maybe access is better now?):