In a predictable but welcome move, The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will devote its next major exhibition to the work of Alexander McQueen. WWD reports that “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” will run from May 4 to July 31 and cover the period from his graduate collection at London's Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design to his shocking suicide earlier this year. The exhibition will draw from the various archives of the designer's own label and Givenchy as well as from the collection of the late Isabella Blow which is now entirely in the possession Daphne Guinness. It will also include many items created in collaboration with other designers. Andrew Bolton, who will be overseeing the show told WWD, “He really was one of the most provocative voices of the past 30 years in fashion. His catwalk presentations were outstanding and straddle art and fashion. We want to get across two elements — the spectacle of the runway presentations and the beauty of his craftsmanship.”
As is traditional, the show will launch following the annual Costume Institute Benefit gala on May 2. Not surprisingly, the Met Ball will be a PPR/Gucci Group sponsored event. Co-chairs, aside from Anna Wintour, will include François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek, who will be the evening’s honorary chairs, Colin Firth and Stella McCartney whose business is also part of the Gucci Group. Expect attire for the evening to be something of a celebrity tribute to McQueen.
The show is not an unexpected move from the Costume Institute as a similar exhibition was staged shortly after the equally untimely death of Gianni Versace (we're still waiting for that Geoffrey Beene show). It's worth noting that since an acclaimed but controversial Yves Saint Laurent exhibition 30 years ago, the museum has had a policy against Costume Institute shows that focus on a single living designer. At the time it was criticized for being used as a commercial platform for the then thriving designer's business. All the same, the upcoming show will be underwritten by the Alexander McQueen Co.