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McQueen's Designs Celebrated in Spring 2011 Costume Institute Retrospective

November 10
10:47 2010
McQueen's Designs Celebrated in Spring 2011 Costume Institute Retrospective

The spring 2011 exhibition organized by The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, it was announced by the Museum today.

The exhibition, on view from May 4 through July 31, 2011 (preceded on May 2 by The Costume Institute Gala Benefit), will celebrate the late Mr. McQueen's extraordinary contributions to fashion. From his Central Saint Martins postgraduate collection in 1992 to his final runway presentation, which took place after his death in February 2010, Mr. McQueen challenged and expanded our understanding of fashion beyond utility to a conceptual expression of culture, politics, and identity.

The exhibition is made possible by Alexander McQueenTM.

Additional support is provided in partnership by American Express and Condé Nast.

"Alexander McQueen's iconic designs constitute the work of an artist whose medium of expression was fashion," said Thomas P. Campbell, Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "This landmark exhibition continues the Museum's tradition of celebrating designers who changed the course of history and culture by creating new possibilities."

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition, the Museum's Costume Institute Benefit will take place on Monday, May 2, 2011. The evening's Honorary Chairs are François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek, and the Co-Chairs will be Colin Firth, Stella McCartney, and Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue. This fundraising event is The Costume Institute's main source of annual funding for exhibitions, acquisitions, and capital improvements.

"Alexander McQueen was best known for his astonishing and extravagant runway presentations, which were given dramatic scenarios and narrative structures that suggested avant-garde installation and performance art," said Andrew Bolton, Curator of The Costume Institute. "His fashions were an outlet for his emotions, an expression of the deepest, often darkest, aspects of his imagination. He was a true romantic in the Byronic sense of the word -- he channeled the sublime."

Exhibition Overview
The exhibition, in the Metropolitan Museum's second-floor Cantor Galleries, will feature approximately 100 examples of Mr. McQueen's work from his prolific 19- year career. Drawn primarily from the Alexander McQueen Archive in London, with some pieces from the Givenchy Archive in Paris as well as private collections, signature designs including the bumster trouser, the kimono jacket, and the Origami frock coat will be on view. McQueen's fashions often referenced the exaggerated silhouettes of the 1860s, 1880s, 1890s, and 1950s, but his technical ingenuity always imbued his designs with an innovative sensibility that kept him at the vanguard.

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