Friday 24 February 2017

Alexander McQueen: Fashion visionary will be greatly missed

Angela Scanlon

British designer Alexander McQueen acknowledges the audience after his Fall-Winter 2010-2011 Menswear collection on January 18, 2010 during the Men's fashion week in Milan. AFP PHOTO / Damien Meyer (Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)
British designer Alexander McQueen acknowledges the audience after his Fall-Winter 2010-2011 Menswear collection on January 18, 2010 during the Men's fashion week in Milan. AFP PHOTO / Damien Meyer (Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)
Alexander McQueen's SS'10 collection was inspired by Darwin. Photo: Getty Images

Alexander Mc Queen’s death is in keeping with how he presented himself to the world throughout his entire public live: shocking and controversial. Just one month before he was due to unveil his new collection at Paris fashion week we’ve lost one of the greatest visionaries in fashion.

Alexander McQueen's early runway collections developed his reputation for controversy and shock tactics, earning him the title "l'enfant terrible" and "the hooligan of English fashion".



He was known for his lavish, unconventional runway shows and spared no expense realising his visions. A recreation of a shipwreck for his S/S 2003 collection and a giant human chess game in 2005 are just some of the settings built to showcase his exquisite creations.



His last show in SS10 was one of the most breathtaking. There was a sparkling, illuminated runway with two, robotic movie cameras on gigantic black booms running back and forth, streaming the show live on Nick Knight's SHOWstudio.com. A ‘tweet’ from Lady Gaga about her new single being premiered at the show meant the site crashed. However, the show certainly didn’t.



McQueen said that the move toward streaming live was to prohibit the editors and critics from dissecting and interpreting the collection in their own way. He wanted people to see the collection in its entirety “the way it was intended”, the way it appeared in his own mind.



His vision and unwavering determination to be true to his own aesthetic will be greatly missed by all.



Author and fashionista Gisele Scanlon spoke to me earlier about her memories of McQueen:



"Alexander McQueen's shows were always surrounded by anticipation, excitement and mystery. He brought a genius to his work that is rare. The first catwalk show that ever gave me goosebumps was an Alexander McQueen show in London.

"He was a perfectionist, a visionary and an artist with an artist's temperament and that shyness that most great artists possess.

"Geniuses of his quality are very, very rare. This is so incredibly sad for fashion, it has lost a great genius, but more importantly it is a tragic loss for both his family and friends."

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