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U.S. Vogue editor Anna Wintour to host upcoming exhibition on "genius" of Alexander McQueen

posted 22 Feb 2011, 11:12 by Mpelembe   [ updated 22 Feb 2011, 11:14 ]

An exhibition featuring the work of the talented but troubled British designer Alexander McQueen is to go on display in May at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MoMA) in New York.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (FEBRUARY 22, 2011)  REUTERS - A news conference was held at the London's Ritz Hotel on Tuesday (February 22) by U.S. Vogue editor Anna Wintour and the Costume Institute and MoMA to announce the exhibit.

"Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" will celebrate the designer's life from his postgraduate collection at

London's prestigious fashion college Central St. Martin's in 1992 to his final runway presentation, presented shortly after his death in February 2010.

McQueen committed suicide aged 40 shortly after the death of his mother. He took a mix of cocaine, tranquillizers and sleeping pills before hanging himself at his London flat, an inquest concluded.

Drawing mostly from the McQueen Archives in London as well as Givenchy in Paris, of which the designer had a brief stint, the exhibition will feature approximately 100 designs from McQueen's 19-year career and features both the romanticism and savagery of one of fashion's greatest designers.

The wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Samantha Cameron, said she was proud the New York-based museum would feature Britain's talents.

"When I heard from Anna Wintour that the Costume Institute's annual exhibition would explore the artistry of Alexander McQueen, I was thrilled by this recognition of British fashion. I'm sure the party on the 2nd of May will be a very very special night," she told reporters.

The exhibition's curator Andrew Bolton said McQueen's designs and unique fashion shows were emotive, just like the designer himself.

"My thesis started with a tattoo on McQueen's upper right arm, the quotation 'Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind' from Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. In the play, the words are spoken by the lovesick Helena who believes that love has the power to transform something ugly into something beautiful because love is imperiled by subjective perceptions of the individual, not by objective assessments of appearance. To me, the quotation seems to encapsulate McQueen's vision of fashion which reflected upon the politic of appearance by revealing both the prejudices and limitations of our aesthetic judgements," he said.

Wintour talked about the future of the house of McQueen, nearly a year after his death.

"(Current McQueen designer) Sarah (Burton) worked for Alexander for so many years and no one could understand the house better than her and she's going to put her own stamp on McQueen but also be very respectful of his vocabulary. I think it was really brilliant of the Gucci Group and (CEO of French luxury goods company PPR, which part owns Gucci Group) Francois-Henri Pinault to choose Sarah and we expect nothing but great things from her," Wintour told Reuters Television.

A gala featuring Honorary Chairs Pinault and his wife, the actress Salma Hayek, and Co-Chairs including British actor Colin Firth and McCartney will take place on May 2 to celebrate the opening of the exhibition.

"Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" will be at MoMA from May 4-July 31.