Alexander McQueen made our winters sizzle with each runway presentation seemingly superseding the next, with Fall’s 2009 and 2010 being by far the most climatic.
Let’s begin with Fall 1995 entitled Highland Rape. McQueen’s father had origins in the Isles of Skye, which inspired him to study his own Scottish roots, thus coming up with an interpretation of England’s rape of Scotland.
“Animals fascinate me because you can find a force, an energy, a fear that also exists in sex.” -Alexander McQueen
Fall of 1998 was an epic exhibition, inspired by Joan of Arc. 13-years later, Lady Gaga received her 2009 MTV Music Award in a vintage red lace ensemble from Alexander McQueen’s hell-raising 1998 collection.
“I don’t really get inspired (by specific women). It’s more in the minds of women in the past, like Catherine the Great, or Marie Antoinette. People who were doomed. Joan of Arc or Colette. Iconic women. “ -Alexander McQueen
What a Merry-Go-Round (Fall 2001) is a festive collection, filled with themes McQueen loves to share; romance, melancholy and dark personalities.
“I think there has to be an underlying sexuality. There has to be a perverseness to clothes. There is a hidden agenda in the fragility of romance. It’s like the Story Of O. I’m not big on women looking naive. There has to be a sinister aspect, whether it’s melancholy or sadomasochist. I think everyone has deep sexuality, and sometimes it’s good to use a little of it– and sometimes a lot of it– like a masquerade.” -Alexander McQueen
“Birds in flight fascinate me. I admire eagles and falcons. I’m inspired by a feather but also its color, its graphics, its weightlessness and its engineering. It’s so elaborate. In fact, I try and transpose the beauty of a bird to women. “ -Alexander McQueen
In September 2005 the fashion world shunned supermodel Kate Moss as news of her drug abuse surfaced in the Daily Mirror, so in 2006 Alexander McQueen incorporated a hologram image of her for the finale of his runway show, creating a nostalgic ambience for her return to fashion.
Kate Moss Hologram video:
2007’s theme of heresy and martyrdom was inspired by Alexander McQueen’s mother, who traced her family tree to a victim from the Salem Witch trials.
Fall 2009’s Horn of Plenty was a satire about the impossible beauty standards imposed on woman.
“I want to empower women. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress. When you see a woman wearing McQueen, there’s a certain hardness to the clothes that makes her look powerful. It kind of fends people off. It’s almost like putting armor on a woman. It’s a very psychological way of dressing.” -Alexander McQueen
“For me, what I do is an artistic expression which is channeled through me. Fashion is just the medium. “ -Alexander McQueen
As much as it pains me to end this segment, we have reached the finally of McQueen’s work in Women’s fashion, which was not just great, but the greatest of our time, simply because out of all other designers, each runway show he presented told a story that challenged our thinking, on how we view ourselves, life and fashion. It was as if a vortex sucked McQueen from an ancient past and dropped him into our century, only to take him back again. He was as much of an artist as Vincent Van Gogh, a romantic like Edgar Allan Poe and a phenomenal playwright like William Shakespeare.
“When I’m dead and gone, people will know that the 21st century was started by Alexander McQueen.” -Alexander McQueen
“ It’s important to look at death because it is a part of life. It is a sad thing, melancholic but romantic at the same time. It is the end of a cycle– everything has to end. The cycle of life is positive because it gives room for new things.” -Alexander McQueen
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