He was forty years old. He had won the British Designer of the Year award four times. He was on top of the world at the height of his career. These facts swirl around in my head, but nothing strikes me more than the fact that he was a person. Alexander McQueen was a real person with real ambitions, and he was a damn good designer. It was just a couple of weeks ago that I had written an article for my school newspaper on his fabulous shoe collection, an article that hasn't even been published yet. Now, I never cry. Ever. And as I write this, I sit here with tears streaming down my face, crying like a child. It's profound how much one person can affect your entire life, and even more profound when that one person has affected so many lives in the same exact way.
The Best of Alexander McQueen:
Fall 1997: Alexander McQueen worked for five years as Givenchy's head designer. His collections for Givenchy were gorgeous, and it opened the doors for him to stand on his own.
Spring 1998: McQueen unleashed rain on the runway, excentuating his white, shimmering pieces.
Spring 1999: McQueen utilized model Shalom Harlow as a human canvas, painting her white dress as she stood on the runway.
Fall 2002: Staged in the Conciergerie, the famous Paris jail known for holding Marie Antoinette, the runway show featured exaggerated silhouettes and canine props. People were terrified!
Fall 2003: McQueen's models were placed inside a torrential wind tunnel, showcasing the chiffon and silk pieces as they billowed in the wind.
Spring 2004: This runway show re-enacted a dance scene from the movie They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Karen Elson, pictured here, was the star of the show. All of the models had to train in ballroom dancing before they walked the runway.
Spring 2005: For this romantic and girlishly Edwardian collection, McQueen positioned every look on a chessboard floor. The models walked against each other as if they were pieces on the chessboard, making for an extraordinary show.
Fall 2005: This collection was a tribute to Hitchcock heroines, from Tippi Hedren in The Birds to Kim Novak in Vertigo.
Fall 2006: McQueen's use of holography reinforced his reputation as both a meticulous designer and outstanding showman. It was both haunting and beautiful, leaving the audience in awe.
Spring 2007: Inspired by Barry Lyndon, Goya and the Marchesa Casati, McQueen merged historical references with modern elegance for this spring collection. It was said to be one of the most beautifully feminine collections of his career.
Spring 2008: The collection's bird theme served as a symbolic tribute to the late Isabella Blow, McQueen's close friend and mentor. The neon colors were eyecatching and lovely, making a huge statement.
Fall 2008: After Queen Elizabeth II appointed him a Commander of the British Order in 2003, McQueen paid tribute to her with this collection. It was full of royal fabrics, and it showed McQueen's pride in being an Englishman.
Fall 2009: For this collection, McQueen commented on societal excess by setting the stage with scrap debris from past shows. It embraced today's economic struggle, and showed the audience that even when the economy is tough, it's still very possible to look beautiful.
Spring 2010: McQueen's last collection, the very collection I wrote about for my school newspaper, showcased 10-inch heels that had everyone in shock. These shoes changed fashion forever, and I know they will continue to influence and inspire in the future.
Lee Alexander McQueen had an artistic mind like no other, and he truly wanted to make a mark on the world of fashion. He once said, "I want what I do to speak volumes." Well Mr. McQueen, you've done it. Your infamous designs do speak volumes, and they've changed my life forever. You've always been my very favorite fashion designer, and I thank you for changing my life and my outlook on the fashion world. You may be gone, but your influence on fashion will live forever, and no one will ever forget the imprint you left. Thank you for teaching us all that we can be whatever we dream of, and thank you for showing us that our goals are a lot closer than they seem. Words can't describe how much I'll miss you.
Lee Alexander McQueen
March 16, 1969 - February 11, 2010
"I have so much respect for him, and I don't even think he will mind." - Lee Alexander McQueen
Image via images.brisbanetimes.com.au.