Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tribute to Alexander McQueen

My all-time favourite McQueen gown, Oyster Dress, Spring Summer 2003
It is in the Metropolitan Museum of New York

Alexander McQueen with his mother

Gorgeous gown, Autumn/Winter 2006

I cannot believe I am writing this post. My favourite designer is dead. Alexander McQueen, 40 years old, was found dead at his home in London today, 9 days after the death of his beloved mother. McQueen always seemed so in control and defiant of everyone, it makes it even harder to believe he is simply gone.

Shalom Harlow being sprayed by two car painting robots

Alexander with Isabella Blow

Escher inspired print at his recycled runway, Autumn/Winter 2009-2010 show

Spring/Summer 2007 show - one of my very favourite dresses

An incredible talent, he made his way through the turbulent waters of the fashion world, always on the rise; seemingly nothing could stop him. He was born in 1969, the youngest of six in Hackney, London, in 1969; dad was a taxi driver, mom a teacher. He became interested in fashion as a child and very soon he was a young apprentice at the Saville Row tailors Anderson & Sheppard, then Gieves & Hawkes. There he made suits for the Prince of Wales amongst others (legend has it he wrote "I am a cunt" with a ballpoint pen in the lining of one of the Prince's suits). He did a small stint at Koji Tatsuno at Paris before going to Milan to work at Romeo Gigli.
Back in England in 1994, he applied for work at Central St. Martins but was encouraged to enroll as a student. His graduation collection was bought by fashion legend Isabella Blow, who was to become his friend, mentor and muse.

A selection from his work throughout the years

His infamous "Highland rape" collection in 1995 drew the fashion world's attention. The result of his theatrical but exquisitely tailord concoctions was a much coveted position at the helm of the Givenchy fashion house, right after John Galliano left for Dior. The tenure was not without problems: he called Hybert De Givenchy, one of the most revered and gentle men in Haute Couture "irrelevant", his first collection there was a failure. But he build his reputation slowly, managing to outsmart his critics.

German Vogue photo shoot

Nick Knight photo shoot for British Vogue

One of his quirky handbags

Givenchy Spring/Summer 2000 Haute Couture - in Vogue

Bjork "Homogenic" album cover, photo by Nick Knight

From his men's collection

Tilda Swinton in his dress for Narnia

Futuristic editorial

Comparing editorial to runway

Never happy with the management, he left for the Gucci group and his own label in 2001, where he enjoyed critical and financial success, opening boutiques across the world, releasing his perfume and accessories line. His oeuvre, dark and romantic yet thoroughly steeped in the modern, grimy world, enchanted people and made him popular to all. Even Puma and MAC cosmetics approached him for designing collections for them.

Men's collection

The Los Angeles boutique, designed by Pentagram

Stage for one of his shows

His first perfume, Kingdom

Nick Knight photograph

His chess-board fashion show, Spring/Summer 2005

Luggage designed for Samsonite

December 2008 Vogue US editorial with Roberto Bolle as Romeo and Coco Rocha as Juliet,
shot by Annie Leibovitz

Bjork, photographed by Nick Knight

Designed for Puma

Givenchy Autumn/Winter 1999/2000 Haute Couture leather corset

Daria Werbovy in Vogue US editorial, May 2009

I love his clothes: his collections were the ones I anticipated the most during fashion week. The outfits, dark and looking like stepping a fine line between fairy tales and science fiction, yet somehow, one could always find very wearable tailored pieces in his collections. His evening dresses were fantastic mash-ups of a variety of influences, with most prominent his love for victorianna and a morbid fascination with death - taxidermied animals, bones, whole skeletons, sculls etc, were always present in his collections.

You can read about my favourite collection of his in another post I made. His loss is a great one, not only for his family and friends, but for fashion lovers and people who appreciated his talents. He had lots more to give and I believe we had not seen the best of him yet. He will be sorely missed.

Bye bye Lee


  1. ¨Ηταν και δικός μου αγαπημένος...πολύ κρίμα.

    Το αφιέρωμά σου πληρέστατο...

    (και το kingdom με το εκπληκτικό του μπουκάλι είναι ένα απο τα αρώματά μου)

  2. That was a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l- tribute..thanks Stratos...I went to a art cocktail party wearing McQueen today...homage...for the memories.

  3. Πολύ ωραία παρουσίαση, μπράβο, τον τίμησες παραγματικά.

  4. Thank you for posting a tribute to this incredible fashion artist. His work touched the world.

  5. We'll all miss him dearly. He was my idol and inspiration.

  6. Anonymous6:16 pm

    Εξαιρετικό αφιέρωμα!
    Πολυτάλαντος (η αλήθεια είναι ότι δεν ήξερα το πρόσωπό του αλλά μόνο ως όνομα τον ήξερα) και απ' ότι είδα και κούκλος! Πάρα πολύ θλιβερό. Τι να πει κανείς...


  7. I just ADORE both of your blogs, I'm a FOLLOWER FROM NOW ON!

  8. Thanks to all of you for the comments!
    @sugahspank! - the feeling is mutual dear!

  9. Καταπληκτικό αφιέρωμα. Ελάχιστα ήξερα πριν το διαβάσω.

  10. Anonymous5:15 pm

    Nice blog!

  11. Just fabulous. Love your blog and loved McQueen. He was one of a kind.

  12. Gone too soon.
    Fab pictures you have here.

  13. Μπραβο !!!Καταπληκτικο αφιερωμα !!!