Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

McQueen is dead; long live McQueen

The news has been announced today of the death of Alexander McQueen, who, along with John Galliano, to me epitomises the idea of theatrical fashion. His shows have always been at the cutting edge of avant garde couture, and his aesthetic is one …

Thu, Feb 11, 2010, 16:02

   

The news has been announced today of the death of Alexander McQueen, who, along with John Galliano, to me epitomises the idea of theatrical fashion. His shows have always been at the cutting edge of avant garde couture, and his aesthetic is one that, season after season, is instantly recognisable in fashion shoots, campaign imagery and on red carpets.

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This, for example, is McQueen’s S/S 2010 campaign advertisement, with those shoes – shoes that tripped up models, shoes that Lady Gaga made shapes in, shoes that adorned the feet of none other than Daphne Guinness. McQueen was never one to do things by halves.

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Autumn/winter 2008, and another otherworldly image – almost religious in its overtones (a crown of thorns, a bed of nails), with that gorgeous pop of colour in the model’s hair.One got the impression, all throughout his career, that McQueen wasn’t so much concerned with the clothes as clothes, but as statements of a different kind – art for art’s sake, you could argue.

I saw him once in a bar in London. He was smaller than you’d imagine; although celebrities usually are, not necessarily physically but, having seen them on screen and in magazines, their presence in the here and now always seems smaller than it should. He seemed nice. I didn’t say hi – I find it so cringeworthy, the idea of approaching a celebrity with some version of praise or expressing your overwhelming awe.

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Autumn/winter 2008

It’s too soon to imagine that the crew at McQueen have any plans in train, but it will be interesting to see whether or not the McQueen mantle is passed on, or left as it is. It’s difficult to think of who could – or whether anyone should at all – be able to take over where McQueen left off, with the same level of creativity and determination to continue pushing the fashion envelope.