The creative mind and the event industry.
I didn’t quite know what to expect when I arrived at the Alexander McQueen exhibition. I was in fact, propelled into a very talented mind. McQueen is someone I knew little about, and the world of fashion he lived in was as alien to me as the man himself. However, the quotes on the wall somehow resonated with the creative inside me and as I stood in the very first chamber of the exhibition, I started to think more about the man behind the creations rather than the actual exhibits themselves. That may have been the point and if it was, then it was spot on.
I thought how absurd it was, that in an exhibition about the work of a man who’s mantra was, to break all the rules, everyone was lined up uniformly, shuffling their way around the corners of the room, waiting patently to get close up to clothes that defined the word “bizarre”. I felt compelled to break the line and overtake the queuing hoards. The very thought of doing what everyone else was doing, seemed somehow wrong and not what this great creative mind would have wanted.
“You have to know the rules to break them, that is what I am here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition”
Personally, I got as much from the disapproving looks, as I did from my interest trying to decipher the inspiration and thinking that McQueen employed in his work on display. To me, it wasn’t the architecture of the garments, the shocking, sometimes macabre design, it was the bravery and creative thought that drove him. What was he thinking? How did his ideas progress from a spark of an idea into what is clearly art on these mannequins.
The exhibition is expertly delivered through its display. The clothes speak for themselves but the inspiration behind them is what I found extraordinary. Those of us in a creative industry delight in having an idea that we dream about and evolve into a tangible representation of what is in our head. If you can call it a job, it is arguably the best part of it.
I wonder if McQueen went through the same process as us, and if he did, what part of his process set him apart from the majority? Could he see more? And therefore, what we have witnessed is just the man’s normal output or, did he quite deliberately and consciously just push the boundaries way past us on the first corner and beyond what would normally be acceptable. If this is the case, is that not what we should be doing? Even fashion designers have the restrictions of what is actually architecturally possible with material and the human form.
I would like to think that he saw his inspiration, dreamt about the possibilities and immediately thought of how he could turn that spark into a creation on the catwalk. The word genius is used far too often but after spending a couple of hours in what felt like Alexander McQueens company, I would stand up in any forum and say this man was a genius, however you define the word.
I have worked with some of the most amazing creative minds in our humble event industry; one thing that stands out is how different they all are. Some are eerily calm; bathing themselves is deep thought, micro thinking and morphing ideas through a sketchpad. They announce the ideas as a perfectly formed concept, which has equal daring and originality to any. Others are manic, you can see their minds bouncing around, grabbing concepts and rolling them around, daring in the potential of the application and looking into your eyes to gauge a reaction, to see if you share their obvious excitement at what could be.
We need to celebrate this eclectic bunch, they are sometimes difficult to work with, frustratingly unrealistic and generally have no concept of physics, budget or time. However, creativity makes up so much of what we do, we owe it to ourselves to explore the possibilities and dare to indulge in some shock and awe. The McQueens of this world have thrown down an ostrich’s feather, diamond studded gauntlet – those who dare to pick it up, are my heroes, and I can forgive their imperfections.
I learnt from my experience at the McQueen exhibition. You need to demolish the rules and keep the tradition. I learnt that to be the Evel Knievel of the creative world, you don’t just need to jump more busses than anyone else. You need to have the creative inspiration in the first place.