Sneak Peek: Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood Among Highlights of V&A’s British Design Exhibit

Photo: Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images
Alexander McQueen gown from the Fall 2009 Horn of Plenty collection.

Ready for a little high-fashion show and tell? It's off to London we go ...

March 31 marks the launch of the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum's hotly anticipated "British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age" exhibit, a showcase of design triumphs spanning the worlds of art, architecture, interiors, and, yes, fashion. And if a trip across the Atlantic isn't in the cards, fear not: FashionEtc has a sneak peek of what's in store.

With all due respect to the Mini and the iMac, the late Alexander McQueen's strapless red houndstooth-and-bird-print gown from his Fall 2009 Horn of Plenty collection is, in our mind, the star of the show, while Philip Treacy's outrageous Orchid hat should also appeal to the Isabella Blow fanbase.

Mary Quant's iconic minidresses and ankle boots offer a glimpse of '60s-era Swinging London, while a tattered "Anarchy in the U.K." T-shirt designed by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren and worn by Sex Pistols rocker Johnny Rotten is a souvenir from the punk period of the late '70s.

Running until August 12, the exhibit also includes more modern pieces like Hussein Chalayan's LED dress for Swarovski from 2007, as well as textiles from the likes of Laura Ashley and Zandra Rhodes.

What can we say? Small island, big talent.