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Exhibition review - Roses at Alexander McQueen, London
9th December 2019

'Roses' is a wonderful insight into how the team at Alexander McQueen work together.

Sarah Burton, the Creative Director at McQueen, has curated the exhibition. 

She says “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.”

The exhibition is a selection of dresses with photographs and working documents, showing each ones creation.

The first dress you see as you ascend the circular staircase is a gown created for the Sarabande collection of spring / summer 2007. A dress Lee McQueen made, assisted by Sarah and a team of florists with real flowers. At the showing of the collection, flowers and petals fell from the gown as the model walked, stunning the audience.

The accompanying board lists the quantity, shade and size of the roses required.

This stunning silk taffeta gown was the finale for the autumn / winter 19 collection. Created to resemble a rose in full bloom. The fitted tucked bodice explodes into a full skirt with draped petal folds. There is an accompanying video with Judy Halil, head of the McQueen Atelier, talking through the making processes. It is fascinating to watch.

Still photographs of the fittings.

Also from the autumn / winter 2019 collection

This dress from the spring / summer 2018 collection is made from tapestry-stitch embroidered roses.

The board shows the inspiration behind the look and how the design is placed on the separate garment pieces.

An example of one of the pieces in construction.

These rose appliqued dresses are constructed with part corsets and underwear inspired bodices.

The toile was first worked with paper versions of the appliques.

During the attachment of the flowers members of the team held the fabric for hours on end to assist in the construction.

A detail from the finished gown.

The exhibition also includes these stunning dresses featuring bees. The bodice section represents the honeycomb with the bees swarming up the skirt.

To the right the crinoline represents a hive.

Net samples  with honeycomb and bees embroidered on top.

This is a fascinating exhibition, entry is free and at the moment they plan to run the exhibition for the next five to six months.

Alexander McQueen, 27 Old Bond Street, London