Their friendship began with a simple agreement in which money, business considerations and fashion had no place. "I like your images but I’m broke. Give me your photos, I’ll give you clothes," photographer Ann Ray recalls Alexander McQueen expressing to her early in their relationship.
“You know, it was simple. He was part of my life, we loved each other, I had Rendez-Vous,” said Ray. It was the start of a 13-year friendship that would see Ann (otherwise known as Anne Deniau) appointed by McQueen to document his design process and the behind-the-scenes experience of his runway shows.
Now you can see some of what she captured in a new exhibition in St. Louis, Missouri this October. Ann Ray & Lee McQueen: Rendez-Vous will feature photographs taken by Ray between 1997 and 2010, alongside garments McQueen gifted to her throughout their work together.
The exhibition will also feature over two dozen spectacular McQueen pieces from Barrett Barrera Projects’ collection, the largest private collection of McQueen’s work.
Lee Alexander McQueen is the British fashion designer who founded the iconic, eponymous label and served as chief designer of Givenchy from 1996 to 2001. McQueen was known for designing outside the conventions of the fashion world, often taking inspiration from avant-garde installations, theatre, performance art, and gothic fairytales. The immersive experience of his runway shows allowed fashion to transcend commodification.
McQueen saw fashion as an artistic medium – one capable of evoking the sublime and providing commentary on identity, culture, values, and politics. His work has been shown at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and, of course, London's V&A Museum in the solo exhibition Savage Beauty.
Ann Ray & Lee McQueen: Rendez-Vous takes place at Barrett Barrera Projects’ new gallery space – projects+exhibitions in St.Louis, launching on 5 October 2019 and running until February 2020.