Brilliant Things To Do in July

The AnOther team compile their top things to see and do this July

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty – Until August 2
It's the last full month of the V&A's groundbreaking McQueen exhibition, and if you haven't made it there yet, you must (tickets cannot be booked in advance but a number are released each day on the door). The first and largest retrospective of McQueen's work to be presented in Europe, it examines the complex themes within McQueen’s 19-year career alongside myriad, breathtaking examples of his unique creations, including the Swarovski crystal-embellished catsuit from Deliverance. Don't forget to pick up the special booklet provided by Swarovski as a lasting memento of the exhibition. The images inside the booklet can be scanned using Blippar, the interactive smart phone app, to unlock a full-length version of the mesmeric film by Nick Knight, adding a layer of augmented reality to the experience.

The Best of Film
There is a diverse line-up of exciting cinematic offerings to keep up your sleeve for July's cooler days. There are two very different music-focussed films to look forward to in the form of The Choir and Eden. The former is François Girard's accomplished tale of a rebellious boy with a remarkable gift, and a demanding teacher determined to help him achieve his dreams. Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates and Eddie Izzard head up the stellar cast. The latter is an exhilarating and all-engulfing journey into the electronic dance movement in 90s Paris, courtesy of Mia Hansen-Løve. Elsewhere, German drama 13 Minutes – from Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel – tells the fascinating story failed Hitler assassin Georg Elser; and The Wonders, the sophomore film from Italian actress-cum-director Alice Rohrwache, offers a richly textured, gently humourous look at the life of a family of bee-keepers living in a remote area of central Italy.

Meanwhile, in a month full of great documentary releases, we can't wait for Magician: The Astonishing Life & Work of Orson Welles – Chuck Workman's interesting and unusual exploration of the great actor/director as a man who did not achieve as much as he could have, by way of his massive body of unfinished work. Then there's Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado's highly anticipated Salt of the Earth, an investigation into the life and work of the latter's father, social documentary photographer Sebastião Salgado.While for the fashion fanatics, there's Iris, the final film from lauded documentarian Albert Maysles, celebrating inimitable style maven, Iris Apfel. London fans, don't miss The Book Club's advance screening of the film with a fashion-centric discussion panel before the show.

Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal – July 11 - October 25
The Bowes Museum will be bringing the first ever comprehensive exhibition of Yves Saint Laurent’s work to the UK as they showcase his oeuvre from the very beginning in 1962. Style is Eternal will feature 50 of the French designer’s garments, including some of the most recognisable pieces ever created – from the Mondrian Dresses (1965) and his iconic Tuxedo (1966) to the 1976 "Russian Collection".

The London Open 2015 – July 15 - September 6
This triennial exhibition started with submissions from 2,133 applicants but has been whittled down to just 48 artists whose focus ranges from sculpture, painting, performance and moving image to photograph and printmaking, as well as some more unusual methods such as bricklaying. Manual Labour and the Ways We Work is the theme being investigated across the show as The Whitechapel Gallery seeks to bring some of the best talent from across London into the spotlight.

Jarvis Cocker: 20 Golden Greats – Until August 28
Another Man cover star Jarvis Cocker has created a series of fictional records as part of his residency at 12-mail Red Bull Space. Playing with the notion of gold records as a physical emblem of the intangible concept of "musical success", the iconic Pulp frontman has designed and drawn 20 imaginary singles on classic labels like Motown and Island, accompanied by an eerie soundtrack of which one thousadn limited edition copies have been pressed.

The Playgrounds and The City – July 21
Renowned architectural writer Ken Worpole will be speaking at RIBA as part of their series, The Brutalist Playground. This talk will focus on playground design from an international perspective as Worpole looks at the design and architecture through a northern European and British lens. The wider Brutalist Playground exhibition is currently occupying the entirety of RIBA.

Unique Performances 
Tennessee Williams’ enduring 1958 play Suddenly Last Summer will be getting a makeover in two short runs at The Glory in Haggerston between July 20 and 30. Drawing more on the 1959 film adaptation – which Williams co-penned with Gore Vidal and which starred Elizabeth Taylor and Katharine Hepburn – than the play, this unique adaptation will see London artist Jeffrey Hinton adding his art-house film and sound elements to the performance. While for those seeking out performance art, Paris-based artist Alex Cecchetti will be bringing his 2012 show, Summer is not the Prize of Winter, to The Serpentine Gallery on July 4 as part of their Saturdays Live series – a not-to-be-missed musing on existence and language. Finally, Doug Aitkin's Station to Station continues at the Barbican, with more than 100 free multi-arts events taking place until July 26, with offerings from Martin Creed, Urs Fischer, Ernesto Neto and Kenneth Anger among others.

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon – July 2 - October 18
There are few more recognisable faces in popular culture than Audrey Hepburn’s. The late actress captured hearts and minds across the globe while she was alive, and now her sons have revived her vivacous spirit, loaning 35 incredibly rare photographs to the National Portrait Gallery. The images offer wonderful insight into Hepburn’s background, life and career in the first British exhibition to be organised with help from her estate.

Manchester International Festival – July 2-19
It’s 17 days of contemporary and performing arts and culture from Manchester’s fifth biennial International Festival. This installment will see FKA Twigs involved in a seven-day filmmaking residency at the old Granada Studios; Björk performing her first show since the release of Vulnicura at the Castlefield Arena; and the unveiling of an extensive collaborative project between Gerhard Richter and composer Arvo Pärt, whereby the two artists created pieces inspired by each other.

Les Danseurs by Matthew Brookes
English artist and photographer Matthew Brookes will release his first book this month – an examination of the raw male physicality of Parisian ballet dancers. Brookes studied these dancers for a year, removing them from their usual environment, and asking them to act as though they were birds falling from the sky, to capture this series of breathtakingly original images. For those in Paris, Brookes will be signing copies of the book in Colette on July 6.

Kebab and Cocktail Extravaganza - Book for August 1
Dalston, one of London’s most loved neighbourhoods, is known for its abundance of kebab establishments. On Saturday 1 August, renowned location space MC Motors (based in Dalston) are playing host to a kebab extravaganza. Organised by burger company Lucky Chip and cocktail bar Ruby’s, Abra Kebabra brings together five of London’s celebrated chefs (including Carl Clarke (Chick’n Sours), Neil Rankin (Smokehouse), Mangal 1, Berber & Q and Lucky Chip) for one day only, serving up their interpretation of a kebab. Wash them down with delicious cocktails and beers and dance the night away to the Lucky Chip Soundsytem. Tickets go on sale today, priced £25 (includes 5 kebabs, cocktail and beer) – get yours here

The Gourmand, Issue 6 – Out now
Our favourite culinary-minded magazine is back with its 6th installment – "an embarrassment of riches for gourmands to enjoy, [with] a particularly North American flavour." Featuring John Cage, Yoko Ono, Sam Bompas, Roe Ethridge and many others, it is set to be an issue you don't want to miss.

Word by Word – Until September 5
Over the last five decades, words and language have played almost as big a role in art as image has. This is something that curator Francesco Bonami is hoping to illustrate in this unique exhibition with works from artists including Richard Prince, Barbara Kruger and Alighiero Boetti. Art from across the globe will be brought together to try and tell a history of pictorial language since the 1960s.

Independence Day Celebrations and Other Good Food
For those looking to celebrate the 239th American Independence Day in style, Mississippi-born chef Brad McDonald will be creating classic southern American cuisine at Marylebone restaurant The Lockhart, including favourite staples like BBQ Ribs, Fried Chicken and Cornbread. And for pudding Molly McDonald of 1235 Donuts will be cooking up some red, white and blue specials. Or, for those in search of a healthy alternative Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley (authors of The Art of Eating Well) will be hosting a wholesome Independence Day brunch in collaboration with Mondrian London’s award-winning chef Seamus Mullen. Expect to see their Avocado Lime Cheesecake and Peach Halloumi Salad doing the rounds at the Rumpus Room.