Sashes and vests, emblematic of nationalism, part of “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.” The retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is about the British fashion designer, who committed suicide last year at 40. Credit Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times A hairstylist friend of mine used to place leather bondage gear in her downtown shop window to scare off what she called “the wrong element,” meaning anyone wanting a nice wash and trim. She wanted to be sure that if you sat in her chair, you were ready to accept whatever look she decided on for you, because it would change the way you saw yourself in the world. That was the deal. “: Savage Beauty” at the, a survey of the career of the British fashion designer who died last year, a suicide at 40, is similarly about control and change.
The show, or rather what’s in it, is a button-pushing marvel: ethereal and gross, graceful and utterly manipulative, and poised on a line where fashion turns into something else. Part of its dynamic is old-fashioned shock. In galleries that combine the look of baronial halls and meat lockers, clothes come at you like electrical zaps: a blouse threaded with worms, a coat sprouting horns, shoes that devour feet. A pert little jacket is printed with a crucifixion scene; the hair on a full-length hair shirt is carefully waved and combed; a corset has a cast-metal animal spine curling out from behind. And everywhere there are arresting delicacies.
The yellow-green beadwork is so fine it looks as soft as moss. Floral-patterned lace has been cut up, flower by flower, then stitched together again, but only partially, to give a dress the illusion of having being torn. McQueen grew up in London, the son of a cabdriver. He made much of his working-class Cockney roots.
They were, along with his homosexuality and rebelliousness, part of his insider-outsider credentials, his wrong-element-wherever-I-am identity. At 16 he landed an apprenticeship with a Savile Row tailoring firm that catered to the British royal family, and he was a more than apt pupil. A virtuosic grasp of the mechanics of clothes making — cutting, sewing, constructing — became early hallmarks of his design, with drapery skills developing later. He was always a hands-on worker: in art terms, a formalist as much as a conceptualist. But it was the conceptualist, the idea man, the storyteller, who began making news. After a stint with a theatrical costume company he went to design school and quickly gained a reputation for distinctively dark, louche brilliance. He titled his graduate show “Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims,” signing each piece with a stitched-in lock of hair.
Jun 29, 2007 Home Forums the Style Spot The Beauty Cupboard Alexander McQueen for MAC Collection Discussion in ' The Beauty Cupboard ' started by peacelover142002, Jun 23, 2007.
He turned to violent films like “Taxi Driver” and “The Shining” for inspiration, and to tales of persecution (17th-century witch hunts) and martyrdom (Joan of Arc). An ensemble with a coat of duck featherspainted gold and a skirt of silk tulleembroidered with gold threads.
Credit Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times In 1994 he had some commercial success with designs for ultra-low-rise “bumster” pants that helped start an international trend. But he was still most interested in narratives, in making each new collection an attention-grabbing drama. One way to get noticed was by alienating people, and the runway show for his “Highland Rape” collection of 1995-96 drew some serious heat. He said that he meant the show as a commentary on England’s pillaging of Scotland, where he claimed ancestry. But the sight of zonked-out models stumbling around in torn dresses brought accusations that he was cashing in on abusive images of women. The bad-boy image, which was already part of his kit, intensified and stuck.
Still, he didn’t stay with any one theme for long, though the curator of the Met show, Andrew Bolton of the museum’s Costume Institute, tries to give the career an organic shape by viewing it through the lens of Romanticism. And he eases us into this view with an introductory gallery of quite wearable-looking jackets and dresses, with quasi-traditional tailoring and lines as clean and emphatic as if ink-drawn. Beyond that point, however, drama heats up. Clothes become costumes, with sensuous, sumptuous lives of their own. Advertisement What looks like Victorian funerary attire fills one end of a mirror-lined room: a black ensemble with a leather halter, a jet gown of billowing silk, and an awesome black-feathered body suit, pumped up as if it were about to explode. By contrast, at the room’s other end, enshrined in a giant glass casket, there’s a lineup of light, bright ready-for-heaven wear: a gilded-feather coat with a skirt of white silk gushing out from below; a long gray robe printed with faces of angels at the shoulders.
The adjoining gallery, called a “Cabinet of Curiosities,” has a fancy gift-shop look, with McQueen-commissioned fashion accessories, among them an extravagant, butterfly hat by and jewelry — the backboned corset, a silver crown of thorns —. Most interesting, though, are videos of the designer’s runway shows playing on monitors set high on the walls. For someone who never saw the original productions — I didn’t — these are absorbing documents.
In one video a model stands on a slowly revolving platform as two robotic machines aggressively spray her with paint. In another, a model staggers, bare breasted, down a catwalk into the face of an artificial blizzard as her kimonolike robe balloons out behind her. Just beyond this room is the installation of outfits from “Highland Rape.” Mr.
McQueen repeatedly said, as have many other designers before him, that his intention was to “empower women” through his designs, though the impression often is that he’s hobbling, even tormenting them. And while his insistence on political content is one of the more intriguing aspects of his work, it is also one of the slipperiest and least resolved. Video Morning T: Andrew Bolton.
The “Highland Rape” collection, with which he asserted a Scottish allegiance, was followed by another that was an unmistakable, if partly tongue-in-cheek, homage to British monarchy, with the two collections accompanied by volleys of nationalistic bluster. And although Mr. McQueen grumbled about racist stereotyping in Western fashion, he perpetuated such stereotypes in his Asian- and African-derived designs.
The Met exhibition passes all this off as manifestations of a Romantic temperament, but you have to ask critical questions. The chief problem with the fashion-as-art fad of the 1990s was precisely that it didn’t ask them. To take two examples, for its 1997 exhibition “The Warhol Look: Glamour Style Fashion,” the Whitney Museum did little more than fill a floor with Warhol paintings, back issues of Interview and a Diana Vreeland tape and basically said: Let’s celebrate. Two years later the Guggenheim — though it denies this — effectively rented its Manhattan premises to Giorgio Armani for his retrospective. (Such deals are now the norm, and the Met is forthright about stating that most of the money for the McQueen retrospective comes from the fashion house called Alexander McQueen.) My point is: If you’re going to deal with fashion as art, treat it as art, bring to it the distanced evaluative thinking, including social and political thinking, that scholars routinely apply to art. Advertisement Such an approach is standard in exhibition catalogs that accompany most Met shows, but not in the McQueen catalog, which, beautiful though it is, is heavy on pictures, skimpy on text.
To be fair, the show and the book were both assembled in record time during the year following Mr. McQueen’s shockingly sudden death. Suffice it to say that future researchers will want to take him out of the all-purpose tent of Romanticism and place him firmly in the cultural milieu he shared with artists like Damien Hirst, Matthew Barney and Leigh Bowery, not to mention Lady Gaga, with her cutlet couture.
And why not compare him, as a politically minded designer, with one from an earlier generation,. They make an instructive pair. McQueen deserves this detailed accounting. The Met show, designed by Sam Gainsbury and Joseph Bennett, is, I say again, a marvel.
Among other pleasures, it has some of the most striking sculptures that I’ve seen in New York in years, from a pillar of ivory silk organza so thick with layers and folds that it looks out of focus to a spacesuit ensemble embroidered head to heel with iridescent spangles. The platform boots that go with the suit are amazing. Curved like giant hooves, or like ballet slippers grotesquely swollen and frozen on point, they make an unforgettable sight, as sculpture should. They’re functionally cruel, formally perfect, conceptually wild. If you can walk in them at all, and apparently some people can, they have to change the way you move through the world.
McQueen at his Autumn 2009 collection before he died Born Lee Alexander McQueen ( 1969-03-17)17 March 1969, London, England Died 11 February 2010 (2010-02-11) (aged 40), London, England Cause of death due to and Resting place Nationality British Education Years active 1992–2010 Label(s), McQ Awards International Designer of the Year 2003 Lee Alexander McQueen, (17 March 1969 – 11 February 2010) was a British fashion designer. He worked as chief designer at from 1996 to 2001, and founded his own in 1992. His achievements in fashion earned him four awards (1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003), as well as the International Designer of the Year award in 2003. McQueen committed in 2010, at the age of forty, at his home in, London.
Beauty Spot Alexander Mcqueen For Macy's
Contents. Early life and education Born on 17 March 1969 in, London, to Scottish Ronald and social science teacher Joyce, McQueen was the youngest of six children. It was reported that he grew up in a, but, in fact, the McQueens moved to a in in his first year. McQueen then attended and left aged 16 in 1985 with one in art, going on to complete a course in tailoring at and serve an apprenticeship with tailors, before joining and, later, the theatrical costumiers.
The skills he learned as an apprentice on Savile Row helped earn him a reputation in the fashion world as an expert in creating an impeccably tailored look. While serving his apprenticeship, McQueen attended the Rosetta Art Centre led by Yvonne Humble, who also wrote his reference that saw him go straight on to the MA fashion course at. Because of the strength of his portfolio, the Head of the Masters course at St Martins, encouraged McQueen to enroll as a student. He received his master's degree in fashion design and his 1992 graduation collection was bought in its entirety by influential fashion stylist, who was said to have persuaded McQueen to become known as Alexander (his middle name) when he subsequently launched his fashion career.
Isabella Blow paved the way for Alexander McQueen using her unique style and contacts to help him. She was in many ways his mentor. It was during this period that McQueen relocated to, which housed other new designers, including. It was shortly after creating his second collection,'McQueen's Theatre of Cruelty', that McQueen met Katy England, his soon to be 'right hand woman', when outside of a 'high profile fashion show' trying to 'blag her way in'. He promptly asked her to join him for his third collection, 'The Birds' at Kings Cross, as 'creative director'. Katy England continued to work with McQueen thereafter, greatly influencing his work – his 'second opinion'. McQueen designed the wardrobe for 's tours in 1996-1997, as well as the coat worn by Bowie on the cover of his 1997 album.
Icelandic singer sought McQueen's work for the cover of her album in 1997. McQueen also directed the music video for her song ' from the same album and later contributed the iconic topless dress to her video for 'Pagan Poetry'. McQueen also collaborated with dancer Sylvie Guillem, director Robert Lepage and choreographer Russell Maliphant, designing wardrobe for theater show 'Eonnagata', directed by Robert Lepage. The film 'Sylvie Guillem, on the edge' produced by French production company A DROITE DE LA LUNE, traces whole history of the creation of the show, from first rehearsals which took place in Quebec until world premiere which was held in 2008 at Sadler's Wells theatre in London. In a 2009 dress by Alexander McQueen, listed among '100 Best Dresses of the Decade' by magazine. McQueen's early runway collections developed his reputation for controversy and shock tactics (earning the title ' and 'the hooligan of English fashion'), with trousers aptly named ' and a collection titled 'Highland Rape'.
In 2004, journalist Caroline Evans also wrote of McQueen's 'theatrical staging of cruelty', in magazine, referring to his dark and tortured renderings of Scottish history. McQueen was known for his lavish, unconventional runway shows: a recreation of a shipwreck for his spring 2003 collection; spring 2005's human chess game; and his autumn 2006 show 'Widows of Culloden', which featured a life-sized of supermodel dressed in yards of rippling fabric.
McQueen's 'bumsters' spawned a trend in low rise jeans; on their debut they attracted many comments and debate. Michael Oliveira-Salac, the director of Blow PR and a friend of McQueen's said, 'The bumster for me is what defined McQueen.' McQueen also became known for using skulls in his designs. A scarf bearing the motif became a celebrity must-have and was copied around the world. McQueen has been credited with bringing drama and extravagance to the catwalk. He used new technology and innovation to add a different twist to his shows and often shocked and surprised audiences.
The silhouettes that he created have been credited for adding a sense of fantasy and rebellion to fashion. McQueen became one of the first designers to use Indian models in London.
Givenchy appointment Upon arrival at Givenchy, McQueen insulted the founder by calling him 'irrelevant'. His first couture collection with Givenchy was unsuccessful, with even McQueen telling Vogue in October 1997 that the collection was 'crap'. McQueen toned down his designs at Givenchy, but continued to indulge his rebellious streak, causing controversy in autumn 1998 with a show which included double amputee model striding down the catwalk on intricately carved wooden legs. This year also saw McQueen complete one of his most famous runway shows previewing Spring/Summer 1999, where a single model, graced the runway in a strapless white dress, before being rotated slowly on a revolving section of the catwalk whilst being sprayed with paint by two robotic guns. Givenchy designs released by Vogue Patterns during this period may be credited to the late designer.
McQueen received press attention after the May 2007 suicide of international style icon. Rumours were published that there was a rift between McQueen and Blow at the time of her death, focusing on McQueen's under-appreciation of Blow.
In response to these rumours, McQueen told an interviewer: 'It's so much bollocks. These people just don't know what they're talking about. They don't know me. They don't know my relationship with Isabella. It's complete bullshit.
People can talk; you can ask her sisters. That part of the industry, they should stay away from my life, or mine and Isabella's life. What I had with Isabella was completely dissociated from fashion, beyond fashion.' VOSS One of McQueen's most celebrated and dramatic catwalk shows was his 2001 Spring/Summer collection, named VOSS. The centre piece tableau that dominated the room was an enormous glass box. But because the room outside the box was lit and the inside of the box was unlit, the glass walls appeared as large mirrors, so that the seated audience saw only their own reflection. Finally, after an hour, and when the show began, lights came on inside the enormous glass case and revealed the interior to be filled with moths and, at the centre, a naked model on a chaise longue with her face obscured by a gas mask.
The glass walls then fell away and smashed on the ground. The model chosen by McQueen to be the centre of the show was the British writer. (The show also featured and ). McQueen said that the tableau was based on the image Sanitorium. The British fashion photographer later said of the VOSS show on his blog: 'The girl in the box was Michelle Olley. She modelled for me in a story I did called Sister Honey.
She was a writer and I remember she wrote a great piece on being the Butterfly Girl in the middle of that (McQueen) Glass Box show. I was sat on the front row, inbetween Alexandra Schulman. It was probably one of the best pieces of Fashion Theatre I have ever witnessed.'
Alexander McQueen later described his thoughts on the idea used during VOSS of forcing his audience to stare at their own reflection in the mirrored walls for over an hour: 'Ha! I was really pleased about that. I was looking at it on the monitor, everyone trying not to look at themselves. It was a great thing to do in the fashion industry—turn it back on them! God, I’ve had some freaky shows.' In 2011, Michelle Olley was asked by the in New York to contribute to their Alexander McQueen exhibition,. She was interviewed by The Met about VOSS for the audio guide to the show.
Olley's detailed diary/journal of modelling for McQueen—written between 18–27 September as the show was being planned and staged—was included in the Met Museum website coverage of the Savage Beauty exhibition. The VOSS diary relates details of the show and encounters with McQueen, ending with how Olley returned home after the show to find: '.a MASSIVE bouquet of flowers has arrived, with a note from McQueen saying, 'Thank you for everything – you were beautiful! – Lee xxx' Accomplishments Some of McQueen's accomplishments included being one of the youngest designers to achieve the title ', which he won four times between 1996 and 2003; he was also appointed a and named International Designer of the Year by the in 2003. December 2000 saw a new partnership for McQueen, with the Group's acquiring 51% of his company and McQueen's serving as Creative Director. Plans for expansion included the opening of stores in London, Milan, and New York, and the launch of his perfumes Kingdom and, most recently, My Queen. In 2005, McQueen collaborated with to create a special line of trainers for the shoe brand. In 2006, he launched McQ, a younger, more renegade lower-priced line for men and women.
McQueen became the first designer to participate in 's promotion of cosmetic releases created by fashion designers. The collection, McQueen, was released on 11 October 2007 and reflected the looks used on the Autumn/Winter McQueen catwalk. The inspiration for the collection was the 1963 movie, and thus the models sported intense blue, green, and teal eyes with strong black liner extended Egyptian-style.
McQueen handpicked the makeup. McQueen boutique in London (2013) By the end of 2007, Alexander McQueen had boutiques in London, New York, Los Angeles, Milan,. Celebrity patrons, including, and, and queens, such as, and, have frequently been spotted wearing Alexander McQueen clothing to events., and have often incorporated Alexander McQueen pieces in their music videos. Personal life McQueen was and said he realized his when he was six years old. He told his family when he was 18 and, after a rocky period, they accepted his sexuality.
He described at a young age by saying, 'I was sure of myself and my sexuality and I've got nothing to hide. I went straight from my mother's womb onto the gay parade'. In 2000, McQueen had a marriage ceremony with his partner George Forsyth, a documentary filmmaker, on a yacht in. The marriage was not official, as was not legal at that time. The relationship ended a year later, with McQueen and Forsyth maintaining a close friendship.
McQueen was an avid and used his passion as a source of inspiration in his designs, including spring 2010's 'Plato's Atlantis'. Much of his diving was done around the Maldives. Death and memorial McQueen's death was announced on the afternoon of 11 February 2010. In the morning, his housekeeper found him hanged at his home in, London W1.
Were called and they pronounced him dead at the scene. Lee Alexander McQueen Headstone Back, Kilmuir, Isle of Skye, a friend of the designer, said that McQueen 'was doing a lot of and was very unhappy' at the time of his death. McQueen's death came just days before, although he was not scheduled to appear there. McQueen left a note saying, 'Look after my dogs, sorry, I love you, Lee.' The stated that the note was not suspicious, but did not confirm that the death was a.
On 17 February 2010, Westminster Coroner's Court was told that a found that McQueen's death was due to. The inquest was adjourned until 28 April 2010, where McQueen's death was officially recorded as suicide. McQueen, who had been diagnosed with mixed anxiety and depressive disorder, took an overdose prior to hanging himself. He had taken drug overdoses in May and July 2009. Coroner Dr reported finding 'a significant level of cocaine, sleeping pills, and tranquillizers in the blood samples taken after the designer's death.' On behalf of Lee McQueen's family, Alexander McQueen the company today announces the tragic news that Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand, has been found dead at his home. At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee's family.
Lee's family has asked for privacy in order to come to terms with this terrible news and we hope the media will respect this. — Alexander McQueen Office, Official Website, 11 February 2010 On 3 February 2010, McQueen wrote on his Twitter page that his mother had died the day before, adding: 'RIP mumxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.' Four days later, he wrote that he had had an 'awful week' but said 'friends have been great', adding: 'now i have to some how pull myself together'. McQueen is survived by his father, three sisters, and two brothers. McQueen's funeral took place on 25 February 2010 at St.
Paul's Church, West London. His ashes were later scattered on the Isle of at Kilmuir. His Skye ancestry had been a strong influence in his life and work. McQueen's Scottish heritage—his father was born and had ancestral roots in Skye—was evident in his life and work. Collections including Banshee (AW94-95) and Highland Rape (AW95-96) draw on both Celtic culture and dark periods of Scotland's history, notably the 18th-century suppression of Scotland's Highland clan system following the final defeat of the Jacobite rebellions. In asking for his remains to be interred in Kilmuir, looking over the sea in the north of Skye, Alexander McQueen has joined members of his clan going back over many generations.
A memorial was held for McQueen at on 20 September 2010. It was attended by, and amongst 2,500 other invited guests. On 18 February 2010, Robert Polet, the president and chief executive of the Gucci Group, announced that the Alexander McQueen business would carry on without its founder and creative director. The BBC reported that McQueen had reserved £50,000 of his wealth for his pet dogs so they could live in the lap of luxury for the rest of their lives.
He also bequeathed £100,000 each to four charities; these include the in, and animal welfare charity in, Oxfordshire. Tributes. A dedication by a fan at an Alexander McQueen store after McQueen's death On 16 February 2010, pop musician and friend performed an acoustic, jazz rendition of her hit single ' and segued into ' at the 2010. During the performance, Gaga paid tribute to McQueen, by dedicating a song to him.
She also commemorated McQueen after accepting her award for Best International Artist, Best International Female, and Best International Album. Gaga dedicated a song to him, titled ', on the special edition of her third album,., wearing a McQueen outfit, sang her rendition of ' at the memorial at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Various other musicians, who were friends and collaborators with McQueen, commentated on his death, including,.
In March 2010, celebrities including, and, among others, paid visual tribute to McQueen by wearing his distinctive 'manta' dresses. The 'manta' dresses, inspired by a scuba-diving holiday McQueen took to the Maldives in 2009, came from McQueen's 'Plato's Atlantis' collection of Spring-Summer 2010 which was at the time currently available to purchase. 'Manta' dresses had been worn by celebrities such as, and prior to his death, and following the announcement that he had died, remaining stocks sold out despite prices starting at £2,800. In New York City hosted a posthumous exhibition of McQueen's work in 2011 titled. The exhibition's elaborate staging includes unique architectural finishes and soundtracks for each room. Despite being open for only three months, it was one of the most popular exhibitions in the museum's history.
The exhibition was so successful that Alexander McQueen fans and industry professionals worldwide began rallying at to 'Please Make Alexander McQueen's Savage Beauty a Traveling Exhibition' to bring honour to McQueen and see his vision become a reality: to share his work with the entire world. The exhibition then appeared in London's between 14 March and 2 August 2015. It sold over 480,000 tickets, making it the most popular show ever staged at that museum. In 2012, McQueen was among the selected by artist Sir to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork—the Beatles' album cover—to celebrate the British cultural figures of his life that he most admires. McQueen is also given homage in the popular. There is an dedicated to Alexander McQueen that is a Tailoring Trainer. This trainer is also the only one on the horde side that gives a special quest Cloth Scavenging.
In February 2015, on the fifth anniversary of McQueen's death, a new play based on the designer was unveiled. McQueen, written by, will be set over one night in London and follows a girl who breaks into the designer's home to steal a dress and is caught by McQueen. The production takes inspiration from his imaginative runway shows and will be directed. It has been described by McQueen's sister Janet as 'true to his spirit'. And played the leading roles. Final runway presentation.