Readers may remember I was generously given membership to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) for Christmas last year which has enabled me to enjoy easy access to some enchanting exhibitions and talks. No doubt many of you will have heard and even visited the blockbuster Savage Beauty show, the spectacular based inspired by the fashion genius Alexander McQueen. Earlier in the year though was a display of images by a man who is frequently credited as being the world’s first fashion photographer, his name was simply Horst. To learn more about this great man read my January piece about the exhibition.
Turning back to Alexander McQueen, you will shortly see the links between my darting tangents, his fashion career began on Savile Row. I learnt this from the book ‘Savage Beauty’ which accompanied the original exhibition in New York and which another thoughtful soul had given me prior to the show ‘coming home’ as so many journalists applauded. Fascinated by the structured conventions and architectural science from the world of men’s tailoring which underpinned all McQueen’s designs I finally saw where my love of men in military uniform derived from.
Britain’s historical affiliation with men’s wear is well documented and its recent phoenix like re-emergence has resulted in the main menswear fashion collection shows, returning from a period in Milan to London. Judging by the Horst quote above, I am sure he would gladly have taken a front row seat at London Collections Men.
(The above portrait is of Cecil Beaton by Horst in the 1940s.)