This article is not going to be as happy and dry humoured as my previous ones.
I just received a txt message saying I can’t believe what’s happened.
“What are you talking about?” was my reply. Then the news feeds started to pour through the web… Alexander McQueen has been said to have committed suicide, (however it is yet to be confirmed) I think this is the first time in my life I have ever been stuck for words.
For me this man was the king of fashion, and not only my favourite designer but a complete idle for aspiring designers and fashionistas worldwide.
The London born designer dropped out of school at sixteen to devote his life to fashion. His first step on the ladder to his incredible fashion career started when he became an apprentice at top tailors Anderson and Shepard, Where it is said he sewed words into the linings of garments he was working on.
At 20 he applied (with no formal education) to London’s most prestigious fashion school, Central St Martins College of Art & Design, to take a Masters degree. It is said that the director took one glance at his portfolio and gave him a place on the spot. He graduated St. Martins in 1991 and set up his own studio in east London in 92 where he set about making a name for himself.
His shows were remarkably theatrical and his ‘brutally sharp’ style brought him much attention and acclaim.
This man and his self titled label were taking over the British fashion scene.
Lee McQueen or Alexander as he is best known was named head designer at Givenchy in 1996 and won `British Designer of the Year Award’ in 1996 and 1997.
McQueen somewhat toned down his notoriously rebellious ways while at Givenchy, but continued to cause controversy in Fall 98 with a show which included car-robots spraying paint over white cotton dresses, and a double amputee model striding down the catwalk on intricately carved wooden legs. In 2000 he went on to collaborate with Gucci, ending his disorderly relationship with Givenchy and giving him room to spread his creative wings, which landed him yet another `British Designer of the Year Award, for the third time and recently he bagged himself an international designer of the year award.
This self-described “pink sheep of the family” is by absolutely any standard a true genius designer, but the reason why he was such a hero to me and so many other followers of fashion around the world is because his work isn’t just a collection of clothes, he created wearable art and turned his catwalk into a stage. This absolute gem will be sorely missed and his work will go on unforgotten.
RIP Alexander McQueen
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