Savage Beauty was originally held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2011. Visited by more than 660,000, people it became the museum’s most popular fashion exhibition ever and the museum had to extend its opening hours to keep up with demand.
There were initially no plans to bring the show to the UK, despite the fact that Alexander ‘Lee’ McQueen was British, that is until fashion writer Melanie Rickey used her blog Fashioneditoratlarge.com to start the #bringmcqueenexhibitionhome campaign. An online petition quickly gained 3,000 signatures and the campaign was covered in several newspapers.
Campaigning died down but ultimately it paid off: last Friday it was announced the exhibition would be opening at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 14 March 2015.
It looks like all those petition signers have already got their tickets. ‘In the first three days of advance booking sales, the V&A has sold more than 7,100 tickets’ the V&A press office reported when I contacted them today. And on Friday the surge in visitors caused the site to crash (it’s back up now).
What can those ticket holders expect to see? The retrospective covers the McQueen’s designs from his 1992 graduate collection to A/W 2010, the collection he was working on when he died in 2011. The exhibition aims to recreate the spectacular staging for which McQueen was famous.
Like everything in London, this exhibition is sure to be a sell-out come 2015. All too often the words ‘book early to avoid disappointment’ are bandied about to drum up interest but in this case they seem totally justified.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 14 March – 19 July 2015. Admission is £16 (concession available) and free for members. Tickets are on sale www.vam.ac.uk/savagebeauty.