Following the runaway success of his retrospective at New Yorks Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alexander McQueen has found a new London museum home. The National Portrait Gallery has acquired an iconic Dave LaChapelle portrait of the late designer and close friend Isabella Blow.
Originally published in Vanity Fair, Burning Down the House depicts McQueen and Blow cavorting in front of a burning castle keep. McQueen wears a full-skirted gown of his own design and brandishes a flaming torch; Blow also wears McQueen, along with a dramatic Philip Treacy hat.
The portrait was shot at Hedingham Castle in Essex in 1996. At the time, McQueen was a 27-year-old upstart at the helm of Givenchy.
I am delighted that this astonishing double portrait celebrating two highly influential figures in British fashion by David LaChapelle has entered the National Portrait Gallery Collection, NPG Director Sandy Nairne said.
The acquisition was supported by Daphne Guinness, a friend and patron to McQueen and Blow, as well as The Marrakech Gallery Foundation and artist management group Fred Torres.More