Before he was one of fashion’s most celebrated and revered designers, Lee Alexander McQueen wasn’t exactly embraced by the industry with open arms. In his early days, many people disregarded his vision as nothing more than shameless shock tactics that were executed poorly and in confusing ways.
“I think it took people a long time to come round to him and understand his talent,” stylist Katy England told the Telegraph. “People have forgotten that now; they've romanticised it. But if you go back to those days, they didn't really know what to expect—that he would be aggressive or you would feel awkward.”
England, who worked with McQueen on his third fashion show and after, hasn’t really been public about her experience with the late designer; however, now that the "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" exhibit is coming to his home city, she felt it was the right time to share the lesser-known stories of McQueen that occurred during the beginning of his career.
This week, the exhibit will open at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but will feature a gallery that has never been seen; it will be comprised of 10 outfits that accurately represent the early years of McQueen, which will serve as a preface to his more recognizable work.
“The McQueen archive doesn't hold a lot of pieces from the beginning so we had to find private lenders,” said England, who assembled the selection with the help of V&A’s senior curator Claire Wilcox. “I felt really strongly about the bumsters and the frock coat. That silhouette for me is everything. It just summarises McQueen. It comes up time and time again.”
The "Savage Beauty" exhibit will open at the V&A on March 14 and will conclude Aug. 2. To learn more about the event, and how to get tickets, visit the museum's informational site.