We are very sad to learn that Alexander McQueen has passed away. This is a tragic day for the fashion industry as Alexander McQueen was a master at the mythology of the creative craft. His attention to detail was that of a surgeon. His daring designs and fantastic fit brought deep and hidden desires to life in his original and unique masterpieces. There is something dark, beautiful, and inexplicable about the mysterious magnetism of an Alexander McQueen creation. He will be sorely missed.
Alexander McQueen was born in London’s East End on March 17th 1969 as the youngest of six children. His father was a taxi driver and at a young age he made dresses for his three sisters. He left school at the age of 16 and was immediately offered an apprenticeship with Saville Row’s Anderson & Sheppard. He also worked for another Saville Row tailor, Gives and Hawkes, as well as famous theatrical costumer’s Angels and Bermens, where he mastered six methods of pattern cutting from the 16th century. He eventually went to Milan and worked for Romeo Gigli.
In 1994, McQueen returned to London and applied at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design to be a pattern cutter tudor. The school was so overwhelmed with his portfolio that they persuaded him to enroll as a student. Alexander McQueen eventually completed a Masters degree in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. His graduation collection was bought in full by fashion stylist Isabella Blow. Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow were great friends.
McQueen had a reputation for controversy. He had a collection called “Highland Rape”. He was called the “enfant terrible” or the “hooligan of English Fashion”. He worked for awhile as head designer for Givenchy.
In 1998 McQueen had robots spraying paint on white cotton dresses and had a double amputee model, Aimee Mullens coming down the catwalk on intricately carved wooden legs. This of course caused controversy. In 2001, McQueen left Givenchy saying it was “constraining his creativity.”
In 2001, he accepted a position with the Gucci Group, where he serves as Creative Director. Alexander McQueen stores have opened in major cities throughout the world.
McQueen has two perfumes, Kingdom and My Queen.
He collaborated with Puma to create a McQueen collection of sneakers.
In 2004 he launched his first men's collection. In 2007, he participated in a promotion with MAC, cosmetics released by fashion designers. His collection was inspired by the movie Cleopatra.
McQueen was the youngest designer to get the British Designer of the Year award. He won this award four times between 1996 and 2003. He was named the International Designer of the Year at the Council.
Alexander McQueen collections combine an in-depth working knowledge of bespoke British tailoring, the fine workmanship of the French Haute Couture atelier and the impeccable finish of Italian manufacturing. Fashion limits are far exceeded by his desire to create only the imaginable. Integral to the Alexander McQueen culture is the juxtaposition between contrasting elements: fragility and strength, tradition and modernity, and fluidity and severity. An openly emotional and even passionate viewpoint is realized through his amazing collections.
Thank you Alexander McQueen for your vision, creative spark, and contribution to humanity. You will be sorely missed and your magnificent masterpieces will be treasured forever.