Exhibition | Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

The Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition uncovers his extraordinary design concepts and body of work through ten sections – from his 1992 MA graduate collection to his most recent, unfinished A/W 2010 collection.

The V&A’s first advance sell-out exhibition opens on March 14 and is due to close on August 2. It follows the successful staging of Savage Beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York four years ago.

McQueen was a popular figure in the fashion industry, raising the profile for British fashion around the world. He always challenged the boundaries of his trade, and pushed his shows by combining the latest technology and traditional craftsmanship.

London born and bred, it’s only right to kick the exhibition off with McQueen’s emergent journey as a designer at Central Saint Martins. Catwalk footage from The Hunger (S/S 1996) will feature in London with the focus around his British heritage.

The gallery will feature 30 extra garments than the New York presentation. It’ll include rare pieces from the Isabella Blow Collection and the House of Givenchy, along with a white feather dress from The Horn of Plenty (A/W 2009-10), dedicated to his mother, Joyce McQueen.

Each section will replicate the provocative and extravagant presentations that he was renowned for. His innovative bumster trousers will be the centre point of Savage Mind, followed by interplay between dark and light in Romantic Gothic.

  • Jacket Its a Jungle out there. [Picture courtesy of Alexander McQueen at the V&A]

In the heart of Savage Beauty, McQueen’s elaborative designs will be showcased in The Cabinet of Curiosities; a collaboration with jeweller Shaun Leane and milliner Philip Treacy. A double-height gallery will display more than 100 garments and accessories including a black horned Givenchy headpiece and an embellished matador’s jacket.

One thrilling aspect is the recreation of the spectacular Kate Moss hologram, which is almost life size in Pepper’s Ghost, a memorable finale to The Widows of Culloden (A/W 2006-2007).

Martin Roth, Director of the V&A, said: “I am thrilled that this magnificent show is coming to London and feel passionately that the V&A is its natural home. Lee Alexander McQueen presented his work here during his lifetime and studied the Museum’s wide-ranging public collections of tailoring, painting, art, photography and books as inspiration for his visionary designs, yet remained vigorously anti-establishment and a true provocateur.”

To book tickets, visit the V&A website.

Feature image by Alexander McQueen and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London