'Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty'

· Wednesday June 1, 2011

Alexander McQueen was a bit of a troublemaker. He famously scrawled obscenities on the inner lining of a jacket intended for the Prince of Wales, proclaiming ‘boredom' at the tasks of a fashion apprentice. But he stuck it out (a lesson for all you interns out there) and after working in some of the world's most illustrious fashion houses, established his own label.

After that, McQueen's career and personal life were anything but boring. Just over 12 months since his untimely death by suicide, The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute has mounted a retrospective exhibition to commemorate the four-time British Designer of the Year. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is the exhibition catalogue.

While the text portions are interesting, it goes without saying that this book is all about the visuals. Some of McQueen's most famous (and infamous) designs immortalised in full-colour, photographed by Sølve Sundsbø on live models disguised as mannequins, heads removed with the help of Photoshop. This freakish photographic technique suits McQueen's hallucinatory, otherworldly and down right freaky designs to a T. I often wonder if he and Tim Burton ever tete-a-teted.