Tate Britain Will Show Intimate Photos Of Alexander McQueen

The designer was adamant about recording the making of his last fall collection.

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Untitled from the series ‘Alexander McQueen Working Process’
© Nick Waplington
Untitled from the series ‘Alexander McQueen Working Process’
© Nick Waplington
Untitled from the series ‘Alexander McQueen Working Process’
© Nick Waplington
Untitled from the series ‘Alexander McQueen Working Process’
© Nick Waplington
Untitled from the series ‘Alexander McQueen Working Process’
© Nick Waplington
Untitled from the series ‘Alexander McQueen Working Process’
© Nick Waplington
Untitled from the series ‘Alexander McQueen Working Process’
© Nick Waplington
Untitled from the series ‘Alexander McQueen Working Process’
© Nick Waplington
The designer with Vogue's Anna Wintour.
Untitled from the series ‘Alexander McQueen Working Process’
© Nick Waplington
Untitled from the series ‘Alexander McQueen Working Process’
© Nick Waplington
Untitled from the series ‘Alexander McQueen Working Process’
© Nick Waplington
Untitled from the series ‘Alexander McQueen Working Process’
© Nick Waplington
Untitled from the series ‘Alexander McQueen Working Process’
© Nick Waplington

As London’s Victoria & Albert Museum gets set to open its Alexander McQueen retrospective (see “16,000 Advance Tickets Sold for V&A’s Alexander McQueen Show“), the blockbuster show that had a hugely successful run at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011, Tate Britain is preparing a show of a more intimate variety. “Alexander McQueen: Working Process” will present the photographer Nick Waplington’s images of the production of “Horn of Plenty,” the last fall collection the designer staged before his untimely death.

The fashion show revisited the visionary designer’s 15-year archive, recycling silhouettes, material, even jewelry he had used before. In 2008, McQueen called up Waplington, an art photographer, to commission a book that would document his process. Waplington said in an interview that the designer was adamant about recording the making of this specific collection, and that he thought of it as “closing the door to the last 15 years.” “[McQueen] saw it as his last collection as a young man,” said Waplington.

A comment on the state of the economy as well as the nature of a capricious fashion industry, McQueen’s set for the runway featured a large garbage heap made up of discarded objects from his previous shows, ostensibly burnt to a crisp, and a catwalk lined with broken mirrors.

The book, titled Alexander McQueen: Working Process, was ready for publication at the time of McQueen’s death in 2010. However, it took three more years to see it published. A personal turning point in his career, the “Horn of Plenty” collection signified a closing chapter. It seems afterwards that McQueen had something else “very, very different [in store],” said Waplington. “It was not fashion.”

Click through the slideshow for some selections from the book.

Nick Waplington/Alexander McQueen: Working Process” will be on view March 10 through May 17, 2015.

 


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