Alexander McQueen's Savage Beauty has become the V&A's most visited exhibition ever.

The retrospective of the work of the late designer closed on August 2 after a 21-week run at London's Victoria & Albert museum and broke records with 493,043 visiting the paid-for exhibition.

Martin Roth, director of the V&A, said the show was ''one of the most unpredictable, dramatic and spectacular exhibitions we have ever staged''.

He previously said: ''We knew that Savage Beauty would be very popular, but the response has been even greater than we imagined. It is an extraordinary exhibition.''

At one stage the museum even opened 24 hours a day to accommodate visitor demand with Roth saying: ''It is not going on tour to other venues so our aim is to provide as many people as possible with the opportunity to see it by opening through the night for the last two weekends. This will be the first time we have opened the V&A around the clock and we certainly think it is an event worth getting out of bed for.''

The exhibition - which debuted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York in May 2011- broke the V & A's advance sales records two months before opening in March after which another 50,000 tickets were issued.