Friday, February 12, 2010
I'm still a bit shocked from the sad news yesterday. I was in a meeting when I got a call from a fellow fashion designer friend who let me know about the terrible news regarding Alexander McQueen's death. We had JUST been talking about him a few minutes before, noting how the shoes I was wearing were very similar to a pair he had designed a few seasons ago but that I was too stingy to buy during a trip to London (and later bought the wallet-friendly version in Buenos Aires). I can't regret not having a piece designed by him any more right now.
Alexander McQueen was always the answer to the "Who's your favorite designer?" question during interviews for the local media. I'd always mention that though I did not agree with his use of fur and taxidermy in his shows, he was the one designer from our time that I truly admired. Watching a McQueen show was, like most fashionistas know, entering a whole new dimension, where the concept of the collection ruled over everything, even the clothes. The show told a story from beginning to end, the models were the characters in the play, and the catwalk was the setting for the plot to take place . I really don't know how to explain it, but the fact that he managed to create this universe for the few minutes a show may last, gave his clothes an extra value that, for me, represents what fashion should really be about.
Whenever I try to explain a collection of mine, I always mention there is a strong connection to the concept beneath it. There are some details that may come up out of the blue, but 90% of it comes from the storyline created by oneself. I think he managed to portray this beautifully every single time. I remember going to the Anglomania exhibit at the Costume Institute and being absolutely astounded by his amazing dresses and then seeing the famous Oyster Dress featured in the permanent exhibit. I think I even shed a tear. The fact that his work could move you to such deep emotions (many editors have been quoted to have cried at some of his fashions shows) comes to depict the POWER of his creations.
How will this gap be filled now? His collections were the ones I looked forward to the most. It is definitely a time for mourning in the fashion world, and I can't help but feel a little shiver just thinking about what might have been going through his mind in order to take such a tragic decision. Like I said yesterday on a post on my Facebook, he spelled out the word GENIUS. How many people can juxtapose the delicate and the aggressive, the macabre and the pretty, and whip it up into one tasteful confection while pushing boundaries and keeping the real spirit of fashion alive? I can't help but be moved to tears while I write this and I know that what I have written does not measure up to what he represented to all of us. I always hoped I'd be able to meet him or go to one of his shows. He was a true idol. All I can say is : WE LOVE YOU LEE.
Here's a landmark in fashion show history, over ten years ago, yet still avant-garde.