Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty to Open at the V&A

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty to Open at the V&A
Alexander McQueen's Fall-Winter 1998 runway show
(Paul Vicente/AFP/Getty Images)

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” the exhibition that attracted a record-breaking number of visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2011, 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 Martin Roth, V&A Director, in a statement on April 24.

After the designer’s tragic death in 2010, his collaborators and friends honored his life and body of work by organising an exhibition that would capture the emotional and dramatic spirit of his runway shows. The original version of Savage Beauty was organized by the Met’s Costume Institute and became one of the museum’s top 10 most visited exhibitions, drawing more than 660,000 visitors, and praised for its sophistication and breadth, covering McQueen’s work from his 1992 MA graduate collection to his unfinished A/W 2010 collection, including “Plato’s Atlantis,” an apocalyptic vision of a watery ecological meltdown in which humankind was returned to the oceans from which it evolved.

When the Met show closed, McQueen fans took to the Internet to petition for the show to travel to London. The V&A was in fact BLOUIN Artinfo's top choice at the time for a possible venue, even as fashion icon Daphne Guiness, who had loaned many pieces in her personal collection to the Met, denied an imminent possibility for the show to travel. The instalment at the V&A will now be the first and largest retrospective of the late designer’s oeuvre to be presented in Europe, and is being made possible with the cooperation of the house of Alexander McQueen, in partnership with Swarovski, and supported by American Express.

“Savage Beauty is an eloquent tribute to the scale of his talent and to his limitless imagination, which conjured looks that were sometimes wild and challenging, but always exquisitely crafted, and always beautiful,” noted Nadja Swarovski, member of the Swarovski executive board.

Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen, said: “Savage Beauty is a celebration of the most imaginative and talented designer of our time. Lee was a genius and a true visionary who pushed boundaries, challenged and inspired. He believed in creativity and innovation and his talent was limitless.”

Tickets to the V&A’s exhibition go on sale at 10:00 am tomorrow, April 25. It may pay to get tickets early.