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Alexander McQueen Dazed archive feature
Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is coming to London

The record-breaking NY retrospective of the legendary designer will hit the V&A in 2015

The groundbreaking Alexander McQueen retrospective Savage Beauty is finally heading across the pond to London, four years after it debuted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition will open at the V&A in March 2015, and it'll probably be as hugely successful as it was in New York. Savage Beauty was a record-breaking show for the Met, attracting over 660,000 visitors in 2011 and making it the eighth-most visited exhibit in its 142-year history. 

Tickets are on sale now, but be warned: the V&A is already experiencing incredible ticket demand, though they promise that the show hasn't sold out. Yet. 

Savage Beauty represents a homecoming of sorts for the iconic British designer. It will be the first McQueen retrospective in London, and will be all the more poignant given that 2015 marks the five-year anniversary of McQueen's death – he hanged himself a year before the Met exhibition opened. 

But more than that, the show is a tribute to McQueen's dark genius. Andrew Bolton, curator of the Met's Costume Institute, plundered the McQueen archive to assemble 100 looks and 70 accessories, with work dating all the way back to McQueen's MA graduate collection in 1992 and his breakthrough Highland Rape collection, the controversial show that made his name in 1995. 

"The power of McQueen’s work lies in the frisson and contrast of complete opposites," Bolton told us on the eve of Savage Beauty's opening. "He was a very emotional designer and the rawness of his emotions was often reflected in his clothing."

The exhibition will be even bigger than the Met's original show and will be re-edited by Claire Wilcox, the museum's senior fashion curator. The installation work – which saw McQueen's work arranged in sumptuously theatrical galleries – will be redesigned by Sam Gainsbury, the legendary set designer who collaborated on so many of McQueen's shows. 

You can watch Bolton speak about Savage Beauty here: 

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty will be on from March 14 to July 19, 2015. You can buy tickets from the V&A here