“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”

Hebbel (1813 - 1863)..

10 April 2010

Fashion Icon - Alexander McQueen

"Alexander McQueen was unique. His imagination had no limits, he had an amazing personality and his creativity was genius." ~Donatella Versace

Alexander McQueen was born in London on March 17th 1969.

Probably you have heard and read a lot about Lee Alexander McQueen especially during last two month, but this biography written by Donna W. Reamy I like the best because it shows more than just a brief description where he has been born and where he has been working.. Through this biography you can feel at least a little bit of his personality..

"Alexander McQueen is most notably known as the genius of various tailoring techniques. He has audaciously set a different fashion stage in England, where his outlandish fashion shows have brought energy and attention to a fairly quiet and conservative fashion market. The last extreme attention London received was back in the 1960s when Mary Quant entered with the mod look. McQueen's clothes are beautiful and wearable, but he receives most of his attention for his outrageous personality and vibrant character. He is a designer with the stamina to pursue and conquer the world of fashion; by the dawn of the 21st century, McQueen was a fashion icon in the making.

McQueen grew up in London, one of six children of a cab driver and a homemaker. His family struggled financially while McQueen was growing up, so to help the family along, he starting making dresses for his three sisters. At this point, his desire to become a fashion designer began to evolve. He expressed an interest to his parents about a career in fashion, and they were against it. "I was the pink sheep of the family!" McQueen told Elle magazine. His parents later became extremely supportive of his career and very proud of his accomplishments.

McQueen has truly grown up in the eyes of the fashion press. He left school at the age of 16 and landed an apprenticeship with Saville Row tailors Anderson & Shepard, later working for Gieves & Hawkes. McQueen has said, "It is important to learn the basics of cut and proportion." Through his apprenticeships, he mastered six methods of pattern cutting, from the 16th century to the present; his talented tailoring techniques are well known within the fashion industry.

At 20, McQueen worked as an assistant to designer Romeo Gigli in Milan, who was extremely impressed with his skills. After a short period working for Gigli, McQueen returned to London to study at Central St. Martin's College of Art and Design. He wanted to be admitted into the Masters of Art program but lacked a formal education. He showed his portfolio to the director of the school, who was very impressed with the work, and admitted the fledgling designer immediately. McQueen's first international exposure came while presenting his final collection at St. Martin's, and he received an enormous amount of press coverage.

McQueen launched his own line in 1992 and on one occasion used crushed beetles and human hair in a fashion show. His presentations have always been full of unpredictable magic and madness. "In the past, he has dressed models in chadors and hoisted them into the air, where they did somersaults and pirouettes until finally miming their own electrocution," wrote the Washington Post in December 2000. In1996 McQueen replaced John Galliano, ready-to-wear head designer at Givenchy's Haute Couture, but he was not embraced by the fashion press as a designer who was sophisticated enough to handle the Givenchy customer. He was viewed as too controversial and the same month he replaced Galliano, he also received notoriety as British Designer of the Year.

Within two years, McQueen was unhappy at Givenchy, and in an interview in Arena magazine, dared his employers to fire him. But before his contract expired, he sold a 51-percent stake in his own label to rival Gucci. Owning the remaining interest in his company still allowed him to have full creative independence. During the breakup with Givenchy, McQueen produced some of his most beautiful clothes to date in his career. The show once again was very controversial, with the setting in an insane asylum. The show, however, confirmed his reputation of producing fashion with an edge.

In the early 2000s, McQueen was concentrating on his own label under a Gucci-McQueen partnership. He was quoted in an article in WWD (5 June 2000) saying, "It hasn't been as easy as it seems leaving Givenchy and being able to focus strictly on McQueen. Now I'm seeing all the mistakes we made in the past…. At some stage, you have to grow up. It's important now that people focus on the clothes rather than someone in a clown suit." McQueen continued working on his own line, redesigning the label and packaging, a new store design, preparing the launch of a fragrance in 2003, considering a cosmetics line under the Gucci Group, as well as overseeing the licensing of his eyewear.

Alexander McQueen is a designer who has carved his own career path in the fashion industry. He is a workaholic who keeps moving forward despite the sometimes negative media surrounding him. He is an artist, not just a fashion designer, who does not let the commercial value of his clothing take away from the controversial presentation necessary to draw attention to his creations."

~Donna W. Reamy

This was short introduction to Icon of this month - Alexander McQueen..

Collection retrospectives, facts and a lot more will follow soon..


Anonymous said...

Love him, very sad of course that he's gone :(

Victoria said...

Yes.. Really sad.. But, he has left so much for us to enjoy.. So, Long live McQueen!!