RR Auction steps out with McQueen fashions Feb. 22  

A suit of Chinese silk brocade comprised of jacket and trousers. The fabric for these pieces were sourced by Ruti Danan from Brick Lane in London during the show preparation and come with the original patterns. RR Auction image

BOSTON – Lee Alexander McQueen, the famed designer and creator whose boundless vision propelled fashion-forward from the mid-’90s with a game-changing dropped waistline, historically referenced clothing and a cinematic sense of showmanship. Spanning from 1994 to 1996 and beyond, the archive that RR Auction will sell Feb. 22 includes some of McQueen’s most impactful and critically acclaimed early collections in a self-contained complete diary of his creations. An impeccable collection of rare early work – including garments hand-sewn by McQueen, original patterns and sketches – has been carefully conserved by his friend Ruti Danan, the former head of McQueen studio. View the fully illustrated catalog on LiveAuctioneers.

“I obtained these items during my time as studio director working for Alexander McQueen in London in both Farringdon and Hoxton Square studios,” said Danan in a press statement.

“Studio teams, models, hair and makeup at this time in fashion, especially for young designers, were often given items for their tireless work in the studios due to pure lack of funding. Days and weeks without rest and relentless work would be rewarded with garments, and I was often asked to wear pieces to meet clients on business trips to demonstrate cut and fit. I rescued a large amount of items of Autumn Winter 1995 from the Farringdon Studios when the landlord threatened to lock us out due to unpaid rent.”

Wool MacQueen tartan open-front jacket featured in ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2012. RR Auction image/Ron Fairer image

Danan, a colleague of Alexander McQueen and a member of his original studio team, has maintained these items, patterns, shoes, and assorted unique personal effects since her time working with McQueen in the mid-’90s.

Working as part of the Alexander McQueen Studio team during two years from 1994 to 1996, Danan was a key participant in the world of McQueen during some of the most pivotal moments of British Fashion and Culture in the early ’90s. Her archive reflects a relentless dedication to preserving his legacy through expertise and personal account; a rare selection of items and memorabilia given to her during her time and work for the legendary designer.

An exquisite and documented wool and cashmere military matador-style asymmetrical tailcoat with extensive gold braid work detailing. The jacket is accompanied by construction patterns, and templates for the goldwork braiding. RR Auction image

Danan lovingly preserved these coveted items, storing each one like precious jewels being locked away as heirlooms. Like many studio team members at this time in fashion, most were rarely paid for their dedication but instead given items for their priceless time and work. While Danan briefly wore some articles, she was also quietly dedicated to meticulously preserving every stitch and hem to ensure their longevity especially since many were made by McQueen’s own hands. Her diligence was recognized when several of her unique archive pieces were chosen for both New York and London’s blockbuster exhibitions “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” and further in various high-profile fashion publication features.

With this unique offering, Ruti now looks to a global stage to allocate these items a new home and share her storied pieces so that future generations can celebrate the boundary-breaking legacy and genius of her comrade, mentor, and friend: Lee Alexander McQueen.

“It’s a world-class private collection of rare and one-of-a-kind early Alexander McQueen items,” said Bobby Livingston, executive VP at RR Auction. “This is a once-in- a-lifetime chance to own a such a unique portion of fashion history.”