Sunday, March 15

Alexander McQueen

Plato's Atlantis
Sonnet and I attend the private view opening reception for Alexander McQueen at the VA. The exhibition already seen at The Met in 2011, curated by Sonnet's former colleague Andrew Bolton. Sonnet and Madeleine saw that show in New York. It was the tenth most visited show at The Met ever.

As McQueen from London, this opening like a home-coming. The designer, Sonnet says, left school at 15 to train on Saville Row. He grew up in the East End in a working class family, his father a taxi driver, all the more remarkable that he attended Central St Martin's fashion MA without a college degree where he excelled. His graduation collection, 1992, was bought in its entirety by Isabelle Blow, a fashion editor and career maker for designers. From there he started his own label. McQueen said, "to break the rules, one must know them."

And break the rules he did.  McQueen's tailoring impeccable while his story-telling skills extraordinary: everything he did was part of a larger narrative. His clothes not simply designed for provocation. McQueen's work included the armadillo boots, skulls and feathers and animal parts - even taxidermy - in almost every collection. His most famous creation, the bumster trousers, cut five inches below "hipster trousers" to elongate the torso.

Sonnet and I people watch while she greets the Italian Ambassador's family and introduces me to Jeremy Irons and his wife.