It was the dresses that drew me in. I love dresses. my cupboard is bulging full of them. The prettier the better, so a ballgown is like top shelf stuff for me.
The exhibition was beautifully curated, charting the journey of the ballgown through history, showcasing exquisite designs. It had me hooked. Since then I have been back to view exhibitions on 70’s fashion, wedding dresses, and most recently the notorious Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition.
The Savage Beauty exhibition was the most beautiful curation I have ever seen at the V&A. Actually, anywhere. It really delved into the mind of McQueen, and painted a story of an incredibly talented but tortured soul.
His creations really need to be seen up close to be appreciated and to understand the paradoxes that McQueen saw in every corner of life. Initially you see a pretty pattern, lovely texture or detail, but when examined in detail the reality is quite different. There are alarming intricacies that create shock and awe in equal measures. It really is a feast for the eyes.
Part of the beauty of the V&A is that they tell the story through the words of the designers and artists involved in each work of art; it was incredibly haunting yet affirming to see McQueen’s words littered throughout the exhibition. It guided you through his thought process.
You might be wondering why I am telling you this when the Alexander McQueen exhibition is no longer running (and the waiting list was as long as your arm when it was).
The reason is that although the McQueen exhibition was particularly spectacular, it was simply a mark of what the V&A is really capable of showcasing. It was both show-stopping and sensitive, and that is something I have seen achieved, in differing degrees, in every exhibition I have seen there.
Every single exhibition that I have seen there has left me feeling awestruck and inspired. Admittedly I tend to indulge in the fashion-based exhibitions, but the world’s leading art and design museum also plays host to collections on architecture, sculpture, ceramics and lots lots more besides.
It is a true testament to the fact that ‘culture’ and ‘museums’ are not boring. They are enthralling and exciting.
So, if you are looking for something to add to the yes list, I would thoroughly encourage you to head to the V&A.
I have become so addicted that I am even considering a membership….