14 March - 19 July 2015
When Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty opens at the V&A next spring – in what promises to be a true fashion blockbuster – it will have been almost four years since the exhibition was originally staged at the Met’s Costume Institute in New York. Back then, just a little over a year after the designer’s tragic suicide, it was a record-breaking phenomenon with queues that trailed outside the museum, down Fifth Avenue and into Central Park and night-time openings to cope with the frenzy. It was an amazing show, beautifully staged and made even more peculiar by the incredibly diverse mix of people that went to inspect McQueen’s extraordinary romantic, dramatic and trail-blazing clothes.
So it’s very exciting that the V&A have finally managed to bring an extended and enlarged version of Savage Beauty to London. The museum has very wisely included many of the names originally associated with the show – the original curator Andrew Bolton is consultant curator alongside the V&A’s Claire Wilcox. McQueen’s close collaborators such as Sam Gainsbury are also involved in staging this show.
Some elements will be dramatically changed – the flickering hologram of Kate Moss (that appeared so dramatically in our favourite McQueen show The Widows of Culloden in 2006 – the most mesmerising and unnerving show we’ve ever attended) was shown in microcosm at the Met but at the V&A will be blown up to epic proportions with an entire room dedicated to it. Likewise the Cabinet of Curiosities has also been pumped up and there’s also a new section titled ‘London’ which features McQueen’s earliest work. In all the show will be a third bigger with around 200 pieces of McQueen’s beautifully crafted clothes and accessories, and will begin with McQueen’s postgraduate collection from 1992 and end with the spectacular final collection that was shown posthumously just weeks after his death.
Unsurprisingly the V&A hopes and expects that this show will be every bit as popular on McQueen’s home turf and although the show doesn’t open for another six months ticket sales are already brisk so if you want an early spot then snap some up now.