With the sad news of Lee McQueen’s death, we pay respect to the remarkable designer at the forefront of style who brought fantasy, edge and a rebellious streak to the catwalk.
When you ask anyone what their lasting impression of Alexander McQueen is, most will talk of his shocking shows, mould breaking models and extreme silhouettes; no doubt the words ‘outlandish’, ‘over the top’, and ‘daring’ would feature more than once.
His most memorable and lasting impact and influence on the fashion world must be his ability to turn fashion upside down and break the mould. He was the first designer to use Indian models in London and he caused controversy when he took a former Paralympian from the track to the catwalk to model a pair of hand-carved wooden prosthetic legs. His reputation for controversy earned him the titles ‘enfant terrible’ and ‘the hooligan of British fashion’ and his designs reflected his extravagance.
The lavish and daring Alexander McQueen shows were not simply a parade of beautifully crafted and designed garments in bold, eye-catching colours (although they were all these things as well, of course), but they were theatrical, wild, innovative and elaborate shows! He always liked to shock. Whether it was water filled runways, projections and holograms or volcanic eruptions and snowstorms, Lee McQueen brought life and energy to every show he created.
As well as creating astounding fashion shows that mixed design, technology and performance, the editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, believes true fashion followers will remember him for what he truly was: “a modern day genius whose gothic aesthetic was adopted by women the world over”. He influenced and inspired a whole generation of designers and looking back through his past collections is proof of his ability to produce extraordinary designs.
He will be greatly missed in the fashion world. A true inspiration for all designers!