Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition dates extended
Fantastic news for fans of British haute couture: London’s V&A museum has announced that its highly-anticipated Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition will be extended to show for a further two weeks, as well as release 50,000 additional tickets to meet demand. Speaking to Vogue, Martin Roth, director of the V&A said: “With just two months to go, we are seeing an unprecedented demand for Savage Beauty but we also wanted to reassure people that there are still tickets available. We are committed to providing access to as many as possible during its 20-week run and [are] so pleased to now offer many more opportunities to see this magnificent show in London.”
30,000 tickets have been sold thus far in the run-up to the exhibition opening, with online sales being made globally. The record-breaking Savage Beauty collection was originally shown in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but is this year returning to London, where McQueen grew up, trained and based his business. In New York, almost 700,000 people viewed the collection, with queues extending to six hours at times. The V&A has re-edited the exhibition, with the museum’s senior fashion curator at the helm, and its displays redesigned for the British audience by set designer Sam Gainsbury, who frequently collaborated with the late McQueen. Savage Beauty showcases the biggest retrospective collection of the designer’s work to be shown in Europe, and is bigger than the Met’s original presentation.
Encompassing collections spanning 18 years from his 1992 MA graduate portfolio to his final collection for Spring/Summer 2010, Plato’s Atlantis, Savage Beauty will be shown with all the drama, brutality and sense of vision immediately recognisable as McQueen’s style, echoing the production of his catwalk shows.
One of the greatest fashion designers produced in Britain, and a creative leader of his generation, Lee Alexander McQueen was awarded British Designer of the Year four times(1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003), named International Designer of the Year in 2003 by the Council of Fashion Designers, and was also honoured with a CBE in the same year. Having risen to the echelons of the fashion industry, he famously described himself as a “big-mouth East London yob”, and garnered a reputation similar to that of fellow designer Jean-Paul Gaultier as an enfant terrible, going on to achieve incredible critical acclaim and cementing the Alexander McQueen brand as a mainstay in haute couture.
Inspired by a collection of eclectic and frequently dark influences, McQueen combined exquisite tailoring (a reflection of his training on Savile Row) with dramatic, surreal and challenging shapes. Aspects of popular culture, fine art, nature and history can all be found throughout his work, creating highly memorable and striking images. He understood and sought to dress the female form with strength and boldness, recognising the power of femininity, saying: “I want to empower women. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress.”
His sudden suicide on 11th February 2010 devastated the fashion industry and five years on, many are still coming to terms with his loss. The Savage Beauty exhibition is a fitting tribute to a truly visionary creative talent.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, in partnership with Swarovski, supported by American Express, with thanks to MAC Cosmetics and made possible with the co-operation of Alexander McQueen, runs from 14 March until 2 August 2015.