The exhibit, titled 'Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,' will be open to the public May 4 to July 31 2011 and will be the focus of the Met's annual Costume Institute Gala on May 2, which will be chaired by François-Henri Pinault and his wife Salma Hayek and co-chaired by Colin Firth, Stella McCartney and Anna Wintour.
The pieces in the emotional exhibit will include around 100 garments from McQueen's 19-year career, starting with his postgraduate collection at Central Saint Martins in 1992 all the way up to his final runway presentation that was shown in Paris less than a month after his February 11, 2010 suicide.
"Alexander McQueen's iconic designs constitute the work of an artist whose medium of expression was fashion," Thomas P. Campbell, Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, said in a statement. "This landmark exhibition continues the Museum's tradition of celebrating designers who changed the course of history and culture by creating new possibilities."
Pieces from both McQueen's archives in London, as well as the Parisian archives of Givenchy, a design house which McQueen designed for from 1996 to 2001, will be included in the Met's showing.
The dark and romantic qualities of McQueen's work will be the focus of the exhibit, which will be divided into sections named "The Savage Mind," "Romantic Gothic," "Romantic Nationalism," "Romantic Exoticism" and "Romantic Primitivism." Within these areas, some of McQueen's most iconic designs will be highlighted, including his controversial bumster trouser and five of his hallmark collections: Dante (Fall/Winter 1996-97), Number 13 (Spring/Summer 1999), Voss (Spring/Summer 2001), Irere (Spring/Summer 2003) and Plato's Atlantis (Spring/Summer 2010).
A "Cabinet of Curiosities" section filled with the pieces from McQueen's right hand milliner Philip Treacy and jeweler Shaun Leane will also be included. And the work of Sam Gainsbury and Joseph Bennett, the production designers behind McQueen's theatric shows, will be shown in a screening room. The two men will also serve as creative consultants for the exhibit.
For those who can't make it to New York for the epic event, a limited-edition book, also titled 'Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty' and packed with 250 illustrations, will accompany the exhibit. The tome will be written by The Met's Andrew Bolton and Harold Koda -- who are curating the exhibit -- and will include an interview with Sarah Burton, the new creative director of Alexander McQueen and one of the late designer's closest confidants.
In related news: see a runway retrospective of McQueen's hauntingly beautiful work.