He was undeniably an immense talent in the world of fashion and is greatly missed among creatives and industry professionals. As an homage to his artistic genius, on Friday February 14, the New York Historical Society held a private preview of a three-day pop-up installation of two dozen of British fashion icon Lee Alexander McQueen’s critically acclaimed early designs, curated by owner Ruti Danan, a colleague and former McQueen studio member, and Alexander McQueen archivist John Matheson.
The preview featured original catwalk designs from 1994 to 1996, including his “Bumster” trousers and shocking “Highland Rape” collection as well as his genre defying “Dante” show, which established his name as a master showman and storyteller. This will be the last time these one-off creations, which are among the rarest examples of his early work, will be seen together before they are auctioned on February 22nd in Boston by Bobby Livingston from RR Auction, who organized the installation.
The preview was attended by an eclectic group of local & international guests including: artist Andres Serrano, whose photograph of McQueen was in the show, collectors Colby Mugrabi, Natalya & Nicolas Poniatowski and Lori Chemla, artists Tatiana Murray, Sophie Auster, and Savannah Knoop, photographer Antoine Verglas, Visionaire’s Cecilia Dean, actor Jemima Kirke with Alex Cameron, model Cristina Kruse, Ann Dexter-Jones, architect Charles Renfro, designers Dapper Dan & Nicholas Graham, Jane Lauder, stylist Vincent Boucher, photographer Michael Avedon, and influencers Young Bae, Chong Cha, Chiclet & Dapper Dan, to name a few.
Hailed as the last great designer of the 20th Century, Alexander McQueen rose to prominence with a unique, singular vision backed by unparalleled technique and craft. After gaining an MA in Fashion Design at London’s Central Saint Martin’s Art School and training as a tailor’s apprentice in Saville Row, McQueen showed the world that innate talent and boundless imagination could come from anywhere. McQueen built a legacy of flawless tailoring, Victorian silhouettes, and unpredictable fashion spectacles during his time at his namesake label and the French House of Givenchy.
Working as part of the Alexander McQueen Studio team for two years from 1994 to 1996, Ruti Danan was a key participant in the world of McQueen during some of the most pivotal moments of British Fashion in the early 90s. Ruti’s archive reflects a relentless dedication to preserving his legacy through expertise and personal account; a rare selection of items and memorabilia given to her during that time. When Ruti began working on the seminal Highland Rape, Hunger and Dante collections for the young, financially challenged McQueen, she received payment in original clothing from those early collections, together with some of the original patterns and mannequins.
Click HERE for the online auction.