Alexander McQueen was an extremely talented, bright star of the fashion world that left this earth too soon. His work was art with a capital A and will never go out of style. He committed suicide in 2010, he was 40 years old.
I’m going to share some of my favorites from his body of work but first…
You may be surprised to know that in a former life I was a fashion designer. If you know me you know I dress in jeans and sweatshirts more often than not stained with paint and fabric dye. I majored in Fashion Design at Moore College of Art in the eighties. When I graduated I wasn’t ready to run out and get a job so I stayed in school for a 5th year study where I painted and did my first soft sculpture. Ultimately I took a job as a fashion design assistant. I quickly moved up to head designer and ended up totally burnt out by the end of 3 years. I dabbled in freelance print design but I didn’t see it going anywhere and eventually left the fashion industry altogether to pursue painting and acting. Acting was a great way to get out all my pent up emotions. I loved that it was okay for my character to yell, scream and cry. Anyway, I can relate to how the industry can eat a creative soul alive.
Alexander McQueen inspires me because he was a rebel. Initially trained as a tailor was accepted to Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. He received a master’s degree in Fashion Design in 1992. He was immediately in the press when his entire graduate collection was bought by the fashion stylist Isabella Blow. They became close friends and she supported him throughout his career. In 1996 he was hired to take over Givenchy but the house was so conservative that he didn’t have the freedom he wanted and needed to do his best work. From the beginning his shows under his own label were like performance art or happenings. His work evolved and yes some of it is absolutely outrageous, but it stands the test of time because of its powerful narratives and incredible innovations. I love his nature inspired work and his beautiful silhouettes.
Spring /Summer 1999 his show ended with a model wearing a dress that was spray painted by 2 robots. You can watch it here.
[vimeo 22711586 w=640 h=480]
No.13 spring-summer 2004 interl-h264 576p 6500kbps from Metropolitan Museum of Art on Vimeo.