Savage Beauty: Iconic Alexander McQueen honoured in exhibition

by The One Centre

30

March, 2015

30th March 2015

A stunning exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum is proving to be a powerful brand experience for fashion label Alexander McQueen.

The exhibition of work by fashion's late enfant-terrible Lee Alexander McQueen, explores the man behind the brand by following the career of the British fashion designer, who died in 2010.

Play video

Savage Beauty: Alexander McQueen, has taken over three of the V&A’s galleries, after the curation was granted full access to the designer’s archives by Sarah Burton, who took over as creative director of McQueen’s studio after his death.

The exhibition aims to showcase the legacy of McQueen’s creations and showcase the imagination and creativity of the designer and the brand. It features iconic works from McQueen’s collection as well as examples of his tailoring and early collections and footage from the brand’s theatrical catwalk shows.

Among the standout displays are:

– A holographic apparition of Kate Moss, that is a recreation of The Pepper’s Ghost illusion that ended The Widows of Culloden Autumn Winter 2006 show;

– A “cabinet of curiosities” a large room with all four walls covered with more than 100 garments and accessories – including collaborations with milliner Philip Treacy and jeweller Shaun Leane;

– A dress that was spray-painted live by two robotic arms in McQueen’s Spring/Summer 1999 fashion show.

Claire Wilcox, the senior curator of the London exhibition, described McQueen’s work as an “extraordinary wealth of riches”. “He managed to marry really thoughtful, challenging, provocative and theatrical catwalk presentations alongside an extraordinary facility with tailoring and cutting,” said Wilcox.

The V&A exhibition is an expanded version of a 2011 exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.Interestingly the exhibition is also being sponsored by Swarovski, who have used the exhibition to bolster their own brand’s creative and fashion credentials, and American Express.

Review

It is a stunning collection and a fascinating exhibition. The V&A has curated a number of exhibitions for cultural icons such as David Bowie and Kylie Minogue, however this latest Alexander McQueen is even more interesting, given there is little to separate the man and his eponymous commercial brand.

While the exhibition is a tribute to the visionary behind the brand it is also a journey through the brand’s history and aesthetic. It is a celebration of the McQueen’s role in bringing back impeccable tailoring, as well as his theatrical and artistic visions. All of which translated into a hugely successful fashion label with strong sales and a huge supportive fan base.

This exhibition is a celebration of the art and creativity of the McQueen label and it will do more for the brand than any ad campaign ever could. Promoting the fashion label is very far from the point of the exhibition, however in celebrating the genius and creative vision of Lee Alexander McQueen, the exhibition is ultimatley a ringing endorsement for the brand as a innovative, leading, culurally significant brand for artistic and creative types.

Fashion brands excel at creating experiences that allow people to experience their brands and to be immersed in the spirit and energy that they want their brand to instill.  This exhibition is simply an extension of that, wrapped up and placed in a gallery.

The lines between art and fashion have always blurred and the distinction between these two worlds is often impossible to see. Art is fashion and fashion is art. Fashion labels borrow heavily from the art world and vice versa and fashion has always leant naturally towards the artistic exhibition and performance space.

More than ever the two worlds are coming together as the fashion world continues to embrace all forms of art through branded arts such as exhibitions, experiences, films, installations, pop-ups – Louis Vuitton has even opened their own museum/gallery space, Louis Vuitton Fondation in Paris.

Fashion brands have long understood that selling a product involves selling a vision, an experience and a look and feel, this is something that more product-based brands are only just beginning to fully understand.

While this exhibition serves as an cultural and artistic collection, aimed at examining how the creative vision of McQueen evolved and inspired others, it unwittingly provides new audiences with an immersion into the heart of the brand and the vision behind it.

It comes at an interesting time for the Alexander McQueen brand, which has managed to continue successfully under designer Sarah Burton. It was Burton for the Alexander McQueen label that designed the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress exposing the brand to a new global audience.

This exhibition is the pinnacle of branded arts, it is a sensational achievement for the brand to be recognised as a significant cultural and artistic creator, worthy of an exhibition on such a large scale. The only way it could be more successful was if it were created by the brand itself.

Verdict

This is a magnificent brand experience and a staggering piece of branded art. 5 stars.

Credits

Article By: The One Centre
Ideas and innovation company
Twitter @onecentregroup

Share

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin
Share via Email

Related Stories

Products

Forget buying a Mercedes-Benz. Why not subscribe?

Products

Behind the meteoric rise of the world's biggest vaping brand JUUL

Environments

Cult Korean eyewear label Gentle Monster takes on London

News

The One Centre presents the brands disrupting the world at ONEtalks

Technology

Uber has a better way to map data – and anyone can use it

Products

Forget ‘stoner’ – MedMen is taking marijuana mainstream

News

Four pillars of brand success – John Ford writes for Startup Daily

Collaborations

Virtual celebrity Lil Miquela partners with Japanese label Ambush

Content

Oakley’s ode to obsession

Advertising

"Will finds a way" with Under Armour

Environments

Kengo Kuma is purifying the air at Milan Design Week

Architecture

Facebook is building Willow Village. Would you live there?

Advertising

Apple recruits Spike Jonze to welcome you home

Products

Dot Watch is disrupting the Braille market

Architecture

Is Hyundai Pavilion the darkest building on earth?

News

The One Centre presents ‘Disruption Needs Construction’ at Sydney Design Festival 2018

Environments

Nissan brings its tech to life with self-driving slippers

Content

Outdoor apparel brand Patagonia to sue the Trump administration

News

The One Centre is hiring creative directors. Here’s our manifesto.

Environments

Tiffany & Co brings Breakfast at Tiffany’s to life with luxury collection

Music

Behind the scenes of OK Go’s ‘Obsession’

Content

The North Face combines daydreams and free skiing stunts in a mesmerising film

Technology

Nike is fighting bots with augmented reality

News

"The only way is up" - John Ford writes for Mumbrella

Architecture

Fashion house Yves Saint Laurent opens a museum in Marrakech

Content

Volkswagen explores the father/son relationship in an emotional film

Technology

Meet Norman, a WebVR tool for doodling in space

News

“Give Dove a break” - John Ford speaks to CMO magazine

Advertising

Guinness saddles up Compton Cowboys for latest Made of More film

Environments

Minimalist Japanese brand Muji expands empire with fresh food market

Technology

Teenage Engineering

Art & Design

A forest where gods live

Products

Louis Vuitton teams with Supreme for ultimate brand collaboration

Technology

Technological Nature

Technology

Playful Palette

Advertising

Nike creates graphic feast for Air Max

Advertising

Volvo returns to safety positioning in masterpiece film for the new XC6O

Products

Ikea to employ Syrian refugees in social sustainability project

Content

Screens of the future

Architecture

Apple’s extravagant new campus brings brand values to life

Products

Transformative Appetite

Entertainment

Dove launches Real Beauty Productions to tell stories of real women

Technology

Rapid Liquid Printing

Special Review

The brands coming out to support the LGBT community

Entertainment

Abstract. The Art of Design

Advertising

Target creates mini-musical spectacular for Christmas

Art & Design

Nissan creates mobile workspace

Advertising

Lincoln Motor Company taps Annie Leibovitz for campaign

Experiences

Braun creates hypnotic installation for London Design Week

Entertainment

BMW Films returns with an explosive short film

Experiences

Adidas Republic of Sports launches in China

Technology

Convert the world around you to Pantone with the new Pantone App

Experiences

Moleskine opens a cafe for creatives

Advertising

We're the Superhumans: Channel 4 returns with film series

Products

Activewear brand Lululemon expands into beer

Experiences

Tiger Beer launches NYC pop-up store to showcase best of Asia

Advertising

P&G rolls out strong film in ongoing Thank You, Mom campaign

Products

Ikea launches brand collaborations

Products

Adidas creates sustainable shoes made from ocean plastics

Content

Google launches 360-degree interactive animated short film

Music

Coca-Cola makes music with W Hotels

Advertising

Save The Children returns with harrowing refugee film

Art & Design

COS creates "show-stopping" installation

Environments

Uniqlo aims for Utopia with flagship store relaunch

Technology

McDonald's transforms Happy Meal toy into VR experience

Architecture

Samsung launches immersive brand experience store

Entertainment

Lo and Behold: Netscout launches branded film at Sundance Film Festival

Art & Design

Burberry teams with Apple to launch dedicated Music channel

Experiences

Apple Watch creates blooming installation at Selfridges

Experiences

Nike targets women with luxury workout experience

Art & Design

HSBC soars in stunning elevator film

Experiences

The Four Seasons Jet is the ultimate brand experience

Experiences

Savage Beauty: Iconic Alexander McQueen honoured in exhibition

Content

Samsung film is a beautiful tribute to the power of technology

Experiences

Converse creates global exhibition to celebrate iconic shoe

Experiences

Leica and Moncler create Monumental exhibition

Advertising

Wind Mobile celebrates human connections

Products

Lego targets architects with new product range

Products

GE revives iconic Moon Boot to celebrate role

Experiences

Nike's ‘Phenomenal’ World Cup experience

Architecture

Louis Vuitton Museum: a new level of branded art

Experiences

GQ to groom men with branded barbershop

Experiences

BMW's iconic Art Cars Project launches global tour

Art & Design

Chipotle turns to literature in new project

Entertainment

Cornetto spreads the love with film series

Music

Stella hits high note with Chalice Symphony

Experiences

NRMA opens Crashed Car Showroom

Content

Intel urges audiences to 'look inside' in film series

Content

Net-A-Porter launches glossy print magazine

Entertainment

The Lego Movie hits cinemas worldwide

Advertising

Guinness creates short film 'The Sapeurs'

Products

Dom Perignon and Jeff Koons create art

Content

Patagonia film celebrates the stories we wear

Experiences

Louis Vuitton's controversial exhibition

Advertising

Chipotle wages war on Big Food

Content

AT&T's brutal new film to stop texting and driving

Content

BA tugs the heartstrings with Visit Mum film

Advertising

Leave the world behind with Volvo

Content

IBM & The World's Smallest Film

Environments

Burberry merges digital and physical worlds

Advertising

Iconic landmark is on song with The Ship Song

Entertainment

Bond's Skyfall is ultimate branded entertainment

Entertainment

Red Bull goes Stratospheric

Experiences

Audi showcases the future in Spheres

Entertainment

AT&T unveils transmedia experience Daybreak

Experiences

Google experiments with art and science

Experiences

GE asks Australians for Two Words

Music

Coca-Cola Moves to the Beat of London

theONEcentre

Strategy + Artistry

Ground Floor,
71 York St
Sydney NSW 2000
T +61 2 8096 9700
hello@theonecentre.com

for updates on The One Centre Group and our publications.

Back to top

theONEcentre

Strategy + Artistry