McQueen's smash hit show proves he hasn't gone out of style

A restrospective of the late British fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, has become the most popular fashion exhibition ever to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Savage Beauty has attracted more than half-a-million visitors up the museum's famous stone steps since it opened back in May.

In response to "unprecedented interest" in the exhibition, Thomas Campbell, the museum's director, has extended its run by a week. It will close at midnight on Sunday.

Even the accompanying catalogue, written by Andrew Bolton, the curator of the museum's Costume Institute, has sold almost 100,000 copies through the museum. Those who have been unable to visit, meanwhile, have propelled the programme to the top of Amazon's chart for art books.

The chance to witness at close quarters the technical and creative genius of McQueen, who committed suicide in February 2010, has drawn his fans and followers of fashion but it is thought renewed global interest in his legacy, represented now by his successor, Sarah Burton, has brought popular appeal.

Ms Burton designed the gown for Kate Middleton's wedding to Prince William earlier this year, and has dressed the Duchess for a number of public appearances since.

Savage Beauty beats the record previously held by the Met's 2008 clothing exhibition Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy.

The Met's big tickets

Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2010)

This 17-week presentation of 300 works of art was visited by 703,256 visitors.

Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy (2008)

Featuring 60 ensembles including cinematic costumes, avant-garde haute couture and high-performance sportswear, this exhibition revealed how the superhero serves as the ultimate metaphor for fashion and its ability to empower and transform the human body.

Anglomania (2006)

The summer exhibition celebrated English design, marrying the traditions of "posh" Blighty with the more modern aesthetics of punk and Cool Britannia featuring the work of Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano.

El Greco (2003)

The autumn retrospective of the Spanish Renaissance artist received critical and commercial acclaim, with visitors bringing $345m to the economy of New York.

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