Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is returning. The show that broke attendance records at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City will be at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London March 14-August 2, 2015.
When the show closed at the Met in the summer of 2011, the exhibition had brought in 661, 509 visitors, making it the most popular Costume Institute show, and the eighth biggest show overall on record at the Met. Savage Beauty has now been edited and expanded for the V&A’s large exhibition galleries, and the curators have added 66 additional garments and accessories. There is a new section focusing on early collections designed in London, with new pieces donated from the Isabella Blow Collection, the House of Givenchy and some private collections.
Gainsbury and Whiting, the production company that worked with McQueen on his runway shows, helped design the multimedia aspects of the exhibition with installations, music and film. A new feature is the Cabinet of Curiosities, a double-height gallery with runway film footage interspersed with designs from McQueen, Philip Treacy and jeweler Shaun Leane.
The exhibition includes more than 240 ensembles and accessories, making it the largest collection of individual pieces designed by McQueen and his collaborators. This exhibition marks the completion of the collaboration that began in 1997 when the V&A was one of the first museums to show McQueen’s work.
“I am thrilled that this magnificent show has come to London and feel passionately that the V&A is its natural home,” said Martin Roth, director of the Victoria & Albert. “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.”