By  on April 29, 2011

NEW YORK — Web rumors swirled on Thursday that Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton may indeed have been tapped by Kate Middleton to design her historic wedding gown. Whether or not this morning’s London festivities prove true that speculation, this is a golden moment for the house of McQueen as the genius of its founder goes on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” launches at Monday night’s Costume Institute Gala and opens to the public on Wednesday.

McQueen’s challenge of traditional ideas of beauty is as renown as his mastery of craftsmanship and the drama of his garments and runway spectacles. The exhibit marries these notions seamlessly in its exploration of the complex and creative world of the designer, who took his own life in February 2010. It addresses the themes that informed McQueen’s work including life and death, gender and sexuality and race and religion, as well as a reverence for 19th-century romanticism and an irreverent hand with fashion convention. The exhibit also highlights plenty of examples of McQueen’s most famous runway moments, from the fall 2003 billowing cape shown in an artificial wind tunnel to the spray-painted, white cotton muslin dress worn by Shalom Harlow from spring 1999 and a miniature version of the Kate Moss hologram that ended his fall 2006 show.

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