Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, Met

This spring Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is to host Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, celebrating the late designer’s extraordinary contribution to fashion. The landmark exhibition will chart McQueen’s 19-year rise from enfant terrible to one of the leading designers of our time.

Curator Andrew Bolton, working in conjunction with Sam Gainsbury and Joseph Bennett, the production designers responsible for McQueen’s extravagant fashion shows, has organized the exhibition thematically, in keeping with recurring concepts inherent within the designer’s work. “His fashions were an outlet for his emotions”, Bolton explained, “an expression of the deepest, often darkest, aspects of his imagination. He was a true romantic in the Byronic sense of the word – he channeled the sublime.” Rooms, including ‘Romantic Gothic’ and ‘The Savage Mind’, will delve deep into McQueen’s characters, and his obsession with Romantic literary traditions.

The exhibition, which will be held in the second-floor Cantor galleries, will feature approximately 100 pieces designed by McQueen. Signature designs, including McQueen’s iconic bumster trouser, will be on display. Taken primarily from the McQueen archive in London, the exhibition will be supported by garments from the Givenchy archive and private collections. Pieces from longtime collaborators milliner Philip Treacy and jeweler Shaun Leane will also be on display.

The exhibition launch will coincide with the Met’s Costume Institute Gala Benefit, with Honorary Chairs François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek, a fitting nod to the theatricality that characterized the designer. Thomas P.Campbell, Director of the Museum commented, “Alexander McQueen’s iconic designs constitute the work of an artist whose medium of expression was fashion. This landmark exhibition continues the Museum’s tradition of celebrating designers who changed the course of history and culture by creating new possibilities.”

From 4 May – 31 July 2011

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