(Note: None of the photos in this entry are mine. They were all found on the Web.)
As I mentioned earlier, my delayed arrival in London made me miss my timed-entry reservation for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Savage Beauty” exhibition, which is a retrospective on the work of the late Alexander McQueen. I’d missed an earlier version of “Savage Beauty” at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, so I was doubly disappointed.
Even though my ticket clearly stated that there would be “No refunds and no exchanges,” and even though the V&A’s website said the show was sold out, I decided to see if I could get in anyway. If I was refused, I’d still be able to spend the day at the V&A, which is my favourite museum.
And besides, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
Especially British strangers. The delightful people at the V&A waved me right in, and this is what I saw:
Fashion, aka Fashion!
I don’t know fashion. I don’t even know what I like.
My entire body of fashion knowledge comes from addictively watching early episodes of Project Runway, before ridiculous judging and a move from Bravo to Lifetime ruined the show, at least for me. Haven’t watched a minute of it since the Mondo/Gretchen fiasco, which was five or six years ago.
What attracted me to the program was that it let me watch tremendously talented and creative people, working under insanely tight deadlines, make something original and beautiful and exciting. The imagination and creativity on display left me in awe.
The contestants were often asked which designers had influenced them, and the name “Alexander McQueen” seemed to come up as an inspiration a disproportionate number of times.
I can’t imagine anyone actually wearing many of the garments in the V&A show. McQueen wanted to design the 21st Century, and there’s a science-fictiony element to a lot of his work, as if he were making clothes for the 2070s instead of the present. I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that he designed the wardrobe for David Bowie’s tours in the late 90s.
Alexander McQueen was a four-time winner of the British Designer of the Year award.
Fashion, aka Fashion! and Me
As far as my own personal fashion sense…well, it’s pretty bland. I’ve been dressing the same way forever: Ralph Lauren button-front shirt, almost always a solid color. Ralph Lauren khaki pants.
I know. Boring. But it works for me.
It’s only from the ankles down that I show any flair. For the past several years, I’ve ditched the traditional black socks for footwear in a whole rainbow of colours.
The first President Bush has done the same thing. He’s been wearing bright, sometimes mismatched socks for the last couple of years. It’s become something of a signature for him. I guess he’d decided that he’s old enough to do and wear whatever he damned well pleases, and more power to him.
But I thought of it first.