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Alexander McQueen spent five years as an apprentice on Savile Row, learning the art of tailoring. Firstly, at Anderson & Sheppard, where he learnt to cut jackets, then later at Gieves & Hawkes where he was trained in the cut of trousers. His knowledge of the cut and construction of traditional menswear, and his ability to subvert this became central to the McQueen silhouette and aesthetic.
As early as his 1996 collection The Hunger, McQueen’s runway shows featured menswear alongside his womenswear. However, it has until now been almost invisible; no examples were presented in the V&A’s Savage Beauty exhibition, which meant the connection between his menswear training in tailoring and its application and subversion into his cut and vision for womenswear remained unexplored.