celebrating the life, work and savage beauty of alexander mcqueen at the v&a
With Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty coming to London next year at the V&A, i-D looks forward to the exhibition and looks back at the life of one of Britain's most iconic designers.
From Alexander McQueen's graduate collection bought in its entirety by the late Isabella Blow to McQueen's final bow at his spring/summer 10 Plato's Atlantis collection, which was sadly to be his last, Lee Alexander McQueen was celebrated within the fashion world and beyond for his extraordinary talent and one of a kind vision. Originally trained as a tailor on Savile Row, McQueen's profound understanding of tailoring and fit on the body as well as his obsession with historical dress and art made his creations ones to covet and laud for a lifetime. Born and raised in London, where he remained until his untimely death, the city's Victoria and Albert Museum was a major source of inspiration for the creative genius so it is fitting that next year's major retrospective of his work will be housed there next March after its record smashing run at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011.
The landmark exhibition that remains The Metropolitan Museum of Art's highest grossing fashion exhibit of all time will be a third bigger this time around in London and will include pieces from his the McQueen Archive, The Isabella Blow Foundation and his tenure at Givenchy as well as the iconic Kate Moss hologram from his autumn/winter 06 The Widows of Culloden collection will be recreated in an almost life size format. Other notable parts of the exhibit include the opening section of the exhibition entitled London, a fitting tribute to his home town that will include the work from his first seven collections and include some pieces that haven't been seen since they were originally shown on the catwalk. Other sections Romantic Primitivism and Romantic Naturalism will explore his McQueen's interest in the animal world, nature and survival.
Friends of McQueen contest he was a true perfectionist and only worked with people and things he truly admired and the V&A have looked to his collaborators and closest comrades to help bring the exhibition to life such as Claire Wilcox, the exhibition's curator, stylist Katy England and Creative Director Sam Gainsbury. Sarah Burton, the current Creative Director of the house and his close friend and colleague said "Savage Beauty is a celebration of the most imaginative and talented designer of our time. Lee was a genius and true visionary who pushed boundaries, challenged and inspired. He believed in creativity and innovation and his talent was limitless".
The exhibition is guaranteed to be one of the most culturally important of our time and its four month run in London means that old and new admirers of McQueen's work will have a chance to take in the magic. It goes without saying that designers like him are once in a generation and whilst the world has sadly lost one of the greatest designers that has ever lived, come March 2015, the V&A will ensure that his legend will never be forgotten.
Text Lynette Nylander
Photography Marc Hom, 1997 © Marc Hom / Trunk Archive