The Alexander McQueen Exhibit Is Pulling An All-Nighter

‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’ has been one of the most successful exhibitions in V&A history, with so many people wanting to see it that they have had to keep releasing more tickets and extend the exhibit to try and meet demand. In the run up to the end of it’s time at the London museum, the V&A have announced that the final two weekends will see the show go on through the night so that more people will have the chance to see it.

Allowing 12,000 tickets to be released, the exhibition will kick off again after the day at 10pm and on be open through the night so that more people are able to get a glimpse at the incredible exhibition.

So the weekends of Friday July 24th and Friday July 31st, the exhibition will be open the entire weekend, even in the wee hours of the morning. If you haven’t already seen it, this is your final chance fashion fans.

If you’re still in any doubt as to the exhibit’s magnitude, the original show at the Metropolitan Museum in New York attracted over 660,000 visitors! Basically, prepare yourselves for the fashion blockbuster of the century.

So what can you expect from the show? This retrospective on the work of Alexander McQueen features over 200 pieces created by the late designer – many displayed alongside multiple screens featuring footage from his infamous catwalk presentations.

The show even promises to recreate the holographic spectacle from McQueen’s Widows of Culloden show – the one with the life-size projection of supermodel Kate Moss suspended in a glass pyramid – and as a special addition for London will also include pieces from the designer’s graduate collection.

But no more spoilers, we’ll leave you to visit the exhibition at your leisure. Meanwhile, check out some of our favourite moments from McQueen’s catwalk spectacles. What were YOUR favourites?

Highland Rape show and Bumbster trousers
Highland Rape A/W 1995 and a signature ‘Bumster’ look from Eshu A/W 2000

Alexander McQueen was known for subverting tradition and debuted the ‘McQueen’ tartan at his Highland Rape show in 1995, before he revealed those signature Bumster trousers in his autumn/winter 2000 collection.

The anarchic designer learned his trade as an apprentice on London’s Savile Row and legend has it once sewed a very naughty message into the lining of a jacket destined for Prince Charles…

Joan of Arc, A/W 1998
The ring of fire finale at Joan of Arc A/W 1998

We don’t think any dresses (or models) were harmed during McQueen’s Joan of Arc show, however, we do reckon that nearly 20 years’ on, health and safety rules would preclude any similar stunts.

The Finale of No. 13 SS 1999
The Finale of No. 13 SS 1999

Yes, those really are industrial car-painting machines decorating the (once) white dress sported by model and former ballerina Shalom Harlow, as she stood on a revolving disc. No. 13 was also famous for McQueen’s challenge to the conventional perceptions of beauty; it opened with double amputee and Paralympics champion Aimee Mullins in prosethic legs intricately carved from elm wood.

Kate Moss dances with Michael Clark
Kate Moss dances with Michael Clark as part of a special McQueen presentation in London

Whether she was transformed into a giant hologram or boogying down the catwalk with dancer and cheorographer Michael Clark wearing a swishy skull-print frock, it’s no surprise that supermodel Kate Moss loved working with McQueen.

Momnts from Widows of Culloden A/W 2008 and Horn of Plenty A/W 2009
Widows of Culloden A/W 2006 and Horn of Plenty S/W 2009

Widows of Culloden marked a return to the Scottish themes of Highland Rape (a nod to the designer’s Scottish ancestry) and featured a collaboration with milliner Philip Treacy and jeweller Shaun Leane – remember those incredible bird’s nest headdresses filled with Swarovski diamond encrusted eggs? In Horn of Plenty, models walked a runway make of broken glass that was fashioned to look like a scrapheap – a comment on the excess of the fashion industry.

And finally, no round up would be complete without Plato’s Atlantis, the designer’s final full show and the first to be live-streamed over the internet. It was inspired by amphibious creatures living in a post-apocalyptic world, and the models sported prosthetically enhanced faces along with arresting digitally printed dresses and those unforgettable Armadillo heels – all 30.5cm high of them.