Spray painted dress  Artist: Alexander McQueen  Date: No 13, S/S 1999  Credit line: Model: Shalom Harlow represented by dna model management New York, Image: Catwalking  Special terms: None  Title: Tahitian pearl and silver neckpiece  Artist: Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen  Date: Voss, S/S 2001
Following a record-breaking run at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’ has arrived in London in even more fantastical form than the original. Curated by UAL academic Claire Wilcox, the exhibition at the V&A expands on the dazzling retrospective of one of history’s most visionary fashion designers.

Tahitian pearl and silver neckpiece Artist: Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen  Date: Voss, S/S 2001 Credit line: Model: Karen Elson, © Anthea Simms
The story of Lee Alexander McQueen’s entrance to Central Saint Martins has passed into legend. For the London exhibition, V&A senior fashion curator and London College of Fashion professor of fashion curation Claire Wilcox has added a new section focusing on his time as a fledgling designer in London, just after graduating from the MA Fashion course. Claire is uniquely positioned to curate the show, having worked with the radical designer on a number of events during his lifetime.

Title: Jellyfish ensemble and Armadillo shoes Artist: Alexander McQueen Date: Plato’s Atlantis, S/S 2010 Credit line: Model: Polina Kasina, © Lauren Greenfield/INSTITUTE
Speaking to SHOWstudio, Claire said: “On so many levels it feels so right that the show should be happening in London this time. What’s been so incredible it working with all the people that knew him and care hugely about getting it right.”

Artist: Alexander McQueen Date: It's Only a Game, S/S 2005 Credit line: Image: firstVIEW

When the show was first announced, Claire told The Guardian: ““I am – well, everyone in fashion believes they are McQueen’s biggest fan, don’t they? I think we all feel a huge sense of responsibility to do the right thing by him.” While his former colleague and fellow Central Saint Martins alumna Sarah Burton reflected that: “Lee’s [McQueen’s] work transcended the catwalk. He had this ability to touch people from all walks of life, which was a huge part of what made him special.”

Title: Butterfly headdress of hand-painted turkey feathers Artist: Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen Date: La Dame Bleue,S/S 2008 Credit line: Model: Alana Zimmer, © Anthea Simms
The six month run has already seen unprecedented demand for an exhibition the Evening Standard describes as celebrating Alexander McQueen’s “position as the capital’s greatest fashion visionary.”

Title: Installation view of 'Romantic Nationalism' gallery Artist: Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the V&A Date: 2015 Credit line: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Hear Claire Wilcox speaking about the epic exhibition on the V&A’s Savage Beauty An Inside View video.

Title: Curators Andrew Bolton (Met) and Claire Wilcox (V&A) Credit line: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Fashion Gala at the V&A, presented by American Express and Kering, Dave Benett Getty Images for Victoria and Albert Museum

Guido, guest, Sarah Burton and Kate Moss Credit line: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Fashion Gala at the V&A, presented by American Express and Kering, Dave Benett Getty Images for Victoria and Albert Museum


Read about the V&A’s Savage Beauty illustration competition winning drawings by Wimbledon, LCF and CSM students, which are on sale at the V&A shop. Carmen Whitely design for the V&A's Savage Beauty exhibition print
Read about the Savage Beauty campaign graphics designed by LCC alumna Jo Glover.

Savage Beauty, Jo Glover, V&A, 2015

From 30 April, the Fashion Space Gallery will host ‘Warpaint: Alexander McQueen and Make-up’, a satellite exhibition to ‘Savage Beauty’, focusing on Alexander McQueen’s catwalk make-up. Find more about the Warpaint exhibition.

mcqueenwarpaint

Discover more about Savage Beauty on the V&A website.

Search fashion courses at UAL.

Portrait of Alexander McQueen  Artist: Photographed by Marc Hom  Date: 1997  Credit line: © Marc Hom / Trunk Archive