Preparations are currently underway for this year’s Costume Institute Gala on May 2, which will be chaired by honorary chairs François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek, and co-chairs Colin Firth, Stella McCartney, and Anna Wintour. This year’s benefit will celebrate one of the most iconic and talented designers of our time, the late Lee Alexander McQueen.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, today at the Ritz Hotel in London, held a presentation to unveil details of its upcoming exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. Met director Thomas P. Campbell and curator Andrew Bolton were joined by Anna Wintour, McQueen creative director Sarah Burton, Samantha Cameron, designer Stella McCartney and Vogue editrix Anna Wintour to show a few of the archive pieces to be featured in the May 4 – July 31 exhibition at the Met in NYC.
The exhibition will celebrate the late Mr. McQueen’s extraordinary contributions to fashion. From his Central Saint Martins postgraduate collection in 1992 to his final runway presentation, which took place after his death in February 2010, Mr. McQueen challenged and expanded our understanding of fashion beyond utility to a conceptual expression of culture, politics, and identity. [via Metropolitan Museum of Art release]
Housed in the Cantor Galleries, on the second floor of the Metropolitan Museum, the McQueen exhibition will feature 100 examples from high profile 19-year career as a British designer.
Galleries will showcase recurring themes and concepts in McQueen’s work beginning with “The Savage Mind” which will examine his subversion of traditional tailoring and dressmaking practices through displacement and deconstruction. “Romantic Gothic” will highlight McQueen’s narrative approach to fashion and illuminate his engagement with Romantic literary traditions such as death, decay, and darkness. It will also reveal the main characters of his collections, including femme fatales and anti-heroes such as pirates and highwaymen. “Romantic Nationalism” will look at McQueen’s fascination with the distant past, while “Romantic Exoticism” will examine his focus on distant places. “Romantic Primitivism” will explore McQueen’s engagement with the ideal of the “noble savage.”
Five of McQueen’s landmark collections that explore his engagement with the Romantic sublime and the dialectics of beauty and horror will be interspersed among the galleries – Dante (autumn/winter 1996-97), Number 13 (spring/ summer 1999), VOSS (spring/summer 2001), Irere (spring/summer 2003), and Plato’s Atlantis (spring/summer 2010). “Cabinet of Curiosities” will include various atavistic and fetishized objects often produced with milliner Philip Treacy and jeweler Shaun Leane, longtime collaborators of McQueen’s. A separate screening room will display videos of McQueen’s renowned runway presentations.
If you happen to be in New York City in the months of May, June or July, you must make a stop at the Metropolitan Museum to see this can’t miss exhibition. For the few fortunate enough to nab a ticket to the Costume Institute Gala, get ready to shop for vintage McQueen and other show stopping pieces for the red carpet.