Words by Patricia Zaraś
The Alexander McQueen flagship store at 27 Old Bond Street is currently displaying a new exhibition titled ‘Roses’. The show pays tribute to McQueen’s exceptional craftsmanship and love of nature while touching on a strong sense of community present in the fashion house.
The installation is structured around two iconic pieces: Sarah Burton’s swirling Rose dress from the Autumn/Winter 2019 show, and Alexander Lee McQueen’s ravishing fresh flowers gown from the Spring/Summer 2007 collection, which fell away as the model was walking. Flowers have always played a significant part in the designer’s practice, as its delicate and fugacious nature reflected Lee’s relationship with fashion and beauty. “Nothing is forever.There was a fragility to this collection, in the idea that nothing is permanent, that beauty disappears,” – McQueen told AnOther Magazine at the time.
Each garment is accompanied by samples of work-in-progress and detailed research, taking visitors on a creative journey through the careful process of creating famous masterpieces. In the background, one can hear a video following head of atelier Judy Halil as she makes the Rose dress step-by-step. Additionally, every guest is welcome to take advantage of free guided tours.
That being said, what really lays at the heart of the show is Burton’s commitment to providing inclusivity in fashion. “Right from the beginning, when I started with Lee, from Central Saint Martins in 1996, and there were only a few of us, he gave everyone – the interns as well – hands-on experience in making things,” said Burton in an interview with Sarah Mower. Recognising that, the brand has organised a series of free of charge talks and workshops for fashion students from across the country, providing them with a unique chance to meet the creative director and head of atelier as well as explore the history and skills of the fashion house.