Savage Beauty x


How to write about Savage Beauty? Can McQueen be captured in an Exhibition..or in the limited bubble of a post?  The answer is no, but one has to try.  So I’m writing this with the sound track to Schindler’s list playing in the background – it’s an earworm from the exhibition I’ll carry in my heart for a long time…and has made me, for the first time in over ten years, order a piece of violin music just so I can play it myself, softly at night with the back door open..


Cleverly, rather than chronological, the exhibition is grouped in thematic moods: Romantic gothic, Plato’s Atlantic, Highland..each room with it’s own presence: feathery oily gloss, crow black, cloudy foxed mirrors, decadent gilt, hospital white, all dripping quietly with the dark.


Wandering, discovering, uncovering the rooms is like being lead through the Minotaur’s labyrinth in a time chopped and spun dream.


(All photos from cameras are allowed inside the exhibition)

The Cabinet of Curiosities at the centre is the living brain with flashing synapses and pulsing electricity: Barnacle breasted leather, swooping scooping skirts, spit and saw dust, rich blood reds, spruced and scarred, gossamer held on wings, flammable laughs, chicken feathers in a slaughter house, murmurs, whispers, the glint of gold, leather and bones that wink, the haunting and the haunted. We accept these creations for the sculptures they are, the devolution, destruction, superb craftsmanship and extraordinary vision often without thought for the true effort they took….the room that followed broke my heart.


Go without expectations and you will find Lee, the insecure anti-hero leading the pack, looking inside and always expecting the worst, his discomfort then projected outwards into pure magical McQueen creative gold.


Walking out was a strange journey back into reality.

Laters, Kate x


  1. slnke

    ….i didn’t manage to dream about it last night and am still trying to absorb it. Your blog has rekindled it over again. I was thinking that it was like attending a very special and magical ball (as an invisible guest) and floating about spying on all the guests that you wished to know intimately but couldn’t. Thank you again clever girl for my very special dreamy day trip out of the norm. x

    • Maison Bentley Style

      I think I need to visit it again in my dreams as my only regret is the number of people there. I’d like to go back and eat it all myself! It was a visual and emotional treat xxxxxxx

    • Maison Bentley Style

      They have that same sense of wickedness running through them..have you seen the interview on Youtube with Lady Gaga talking to Gaultier about McQueen? Think you’d like it.. xxx

  2. Lola

    I remember walking into the exhibition and literally getting chills. I don’t want to sound cliche at all, but it was truly magical. I have never been so entranced in art, because his entire collection is art. Just beautiful. And like you, I felt weird walking out to reality and seeing a “dull” life. I just wanted to walk out there dressed in head to toe McQueen a la Daphne Guinness! xo

    • Maison Bentley Style

      It was satisfyingly wonderful to see his works being given the same respect as pictures from the art world. Susie Menkes made the comment that there wasn’t enough link in the exhibition to the art world and the cross-over between them..personally, I didn’t go for a history lesson..I went to drink in the atmosphere and drink in his work xxxx

  3. sarahlafarge

    Wonderful post that’s made me even keener to visit the exhibition. I met him briefly when I was on work experience in the mid nineties, an encounter I treasure x

  4. Style Domination

    Oh wow! I treated myself to the Savage Beauty book. It is so beautiful. McQueen truly was an artist. What a loss! Heading to London soon – can’t wait to see this exhibit! Was lucky to get tickets!

  5. dievca

    It was fabulous in NYC. I was inspired to make my own hat for a wedding based upon his swarovski egg/feathered wings hat. Amazing, right?

  6. thepigfoot

    “Walking out was a strange journey back into reality.” So true! I visited on Saturday and I still feel haunted. Did you get the book? I really recommend it, it’s the perfect accompaniment to the show – plus it looks beautiful on a coffee table 🙂