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V&A to Bring ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’ Exhibition to London

London’s Victoria and Albert Museum will stage the hugely popular “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” retrospective in March 2015.
Cabinet of Curiosities at 'Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty' | Source: Metropolitan Museum
By
  • Lisa Wang

LONDON, United Kingdom — The fashion exhibition "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," which was first mounted in 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and attracted a record-breaking number of visitors, making it the most popular fashion exhibition in history, will open at London's Victoria and Albert Museum in March 2015.

“Lee Alexander McQueen was brought up in London, studied here and based his globally successful McQueen fashion brand here — by staging the exhibition at the V&A it feels like we are bringing his work home,” said V&A director Martin Roth in a statement.

After the designer's tragic death in 2010, the late Lee McQueen's collaborators, admirers and friends honoured his life and body of work by organising an exhibition that would embody the high drama and emotional charge of his runway shows. Originally curated by Andrew Bolton of the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute, the exhibition was praised for its sophistication and breadth, covering McQueen's work from his graduate collection to his final runway statement: "Plato's Atlantis," an apocalyptic vision of a watery ecological meltdown in which humankind was returned to the oceans from which we evolved.

"Savage Beauty is a story telling of the most imaginative and talented designer of our time. We are incredibly proud as a house to be able to showcase Lee's visionary body of work in London as a celebration of his legacy and an inspiration to a future generation," said Jonathan Akeroyd, chief executive of Alexander McQueen, in a statement.

More than 660,000 people walked through the original exhibition’s doors, making it one of the Metropolitan Museum’s most visited exhibitions of all time. The museum extended the exhibition’s run by a week and stayed open until midnight on the final two days to accommodate what it called “unprecedented interest.”

“Savage Beauty” was composed entirely of loaned items, many belonging to the Kering-owned Alexander McQueen label and the designer’s friend and muse Daphne Guinness. For this reason, Metropolitan Museum officials did not initially believe the exhibition would travel.

McQueen, the son of a taxi driver, grew up in East London and worked as a pattern-cutter and tailor on Savile Row before attending renowned art and fashion school Central Saint Martins. He often imbued his collections with a dark sense of theatre that transcended mere clothing.

The show is being sponsored by Swarovski and American Express.

“Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” will open at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on 14 March 2015. Tickets go on sale at 10.00am on 25 April 2014.

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