Friday, 12 August 2011


Melanie Rickey, Fash-Ed-At-Large for Grazia magazine, has begun an online petition via her own fashion blog, to bring the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition (which closed at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday) back home to London.

Attracting (final attendance count) 661,509 visitors during its run from May 4th to August 8th, Rickey believes the archive of Lee's designs over 14 years, from Nihilism in 1994, to his posthumous Angels & Demons collection in 2010, should have been originally staged in his hometown, and doesn't believe it should be a "travelling" exhibition. Despite the many people who weren't able to make it to New York, the exhibit, which was opened by McQueen's successor and protegee Sarah Burton, is now ranked alongside other major Met successes including Mona Lisa (1963) and Treasures of Tutankhamun (1978.) 

Rickey says she has spoken to the V&A, who "would love to host the exhibition, we have spoken to the fashion house about it as we really want to present McQueen's work to our huge fashion and design audience here in the UK." 
Set in a series of hauntingly dark rooms, one of the highlights of the exhibition for me was the 'frozen-in-time' variation of the ruffled organza dress from the A/W 2006 'Widows of Culloden' show - featured on the iconic hologram of Kate Moss which opened the show and also appears alongside the dress in the exhibition (below)..

Another highlight was seeing the Joan of Arc inspired red lace dress from the 1999 'Joan' LFW show, which was held in a disused bus depot in Victoria in London - I know this because I remember placing over a hundred candles up the walkway to the venue which was so dark, that the fashion press and celebrities couldn't see where they were going as they arrived! I also remember Demi Moore (on the frow) asking me after the show if the catwalk was "real?" (it was styled like molten ash that had solidified) with a grand finale featuring a model inside a ring of fire erupting around her. Bless Demi. See the iconic dress from the exhibit, show and video below...
“I don’t really get inspired (by specific women). It’s more in the minds of women in the past, like Catherine the Great, or Marie Antoinette. People who were doomed. Joan of Arc or Colette. Iconic women. “ -Alexander McQueen

And of course, the "Accessories" gallery was like walking into a McQueen wonderland of his deepest, darkest fantasies, styled like a 19th century room filled with cabinets of curiosities - including outlandish hats, stunningly un-wearable but beautiful shoes and other stand-out pieces from his shows, all boxed-in shelves like a medical fashion museum!  

If you too think McQueen: Savage Beauty should come home, then head to Melanie's fashioneditoratlarge blog and register your name on the petition. Meanwhile, for those of you who live in New York, or are planning a trip there soon - there's another chance to see McQueen's work on display, when fashion muse and collector of McQueen, Daphne Guinness, opens up her wardrobe to the masses at the Fashion Institute of Technology on Sept 16th. The exhibit features 100 items including garments and shoes from her McQueen archive. For more information, read a previous post I wrote HERE.

The question now is of course, should Daphne's exhibit also come to London? Hmm....let me think about that for a second....YES!


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