In June 1999, Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 1999 collection was the subject of the V&A’s very first Fashion in Motion live catwalk event. In this film from the time, the visionary designer discusses his relationship with the Museum and the public’s reaction to his designs.
Fashion in Motion is a series of live catwalk events presented at the V&A. Featuring some of the greatest designers of our time, Fashion in Motion brings catwalk couture to a wider audience by modelling it against the beautiful backdrop of the Museum.
You come from just everything around you, it’s a state of mind, it’s the state of society today. You know, I can’t be so literal with my references. I think it’s a number of references culminating together to make one idea.
It’s mainly to do with the end result as an image, and hopefully a lasting image. You know, I don’t like throwaway images, I like things to be stuck in the mind of people. Maybe that’s why my work can sometimes come across as aggressive or violent. Because maybe the world to me is a bit violent.
It’s so big. It’s the sort of place I’d like to be shut in over night. With no tourists…. [laughs} sorry.
When I was at St Martins, studying for a masters degree there, I used to go in there at least once a week to go through the archives. I remember going through rooms to set up the exhibition, and there was things I’d never even saw before. Like colossal statues.
They say “you can’t wear it down Sainsbury’s can you?” is the usual comment. I think they’ve got to really understand that as a designer, it’s not just about what you see on everyday people, its about furthering people’s imaginations into shape, proportion and colour.
For me, my basis for anything I do is based on a craftsmanship, be it tailoring. be it woodwork, or be it anything else, you know. I try to involve a lot of hand-crafted things.
It would be nice to get it across to the general public exactly how a metaphor turns into a reality. Look at the silhouette and think about days before, days in the future, you know, just try to think not so closed-visioned really.
I think the people who see the clothes, see the video and see the mannequin on the turntable just taking reflection that if I gave you Marks and Spencers would you look twice? That’s fashion really. Fashion turns at such a fast pace, that I think you’ve just got to have a bit of an open mind and not be so judgemental, I think. Just educate yourself into the world of Alexander McQueen [laughs]