Friday, February 12, 2010

long live mcqueen

The fashion world is still mourning the loss of British designer Alexander McQueen. He was a favorite of many, and will certainly not ever be forgotten. At this time, I'm sure everyone's thoughts are with his family and friends--though one can't help but wonder what fashion will be like without his unique voice. 
On a personal note, Alexander McQueen was one of the first designers I really loved. I remember flipping through an issue of Vogue towards the end of high school and seeing the white and blue dress from his fall 2008 collection. I fell in love with the shiny blue fabric, the pouf of white skirt, and had to know who this Alexander McQueen person was. Ever since then, I've anxiously awaited his next collection and always hoped I'd own something of his design one day. This is a great loss--such a young talent with so much more to create. In his honor, in my own small way, I'd like to pay tribute to his short time with us. 

He made actresses take fashion chances. This is only a small sampling of the many McQueen dresses that have found their way onto the red carpet. Actresses who wanted to wear something a little different, a little daring, might choose to don McQueen at a premiere or awards show. They might have gotten ripped apart by the fashion police (who tend to favor bland, middle of the road dresses that lack imagination), but they always got a gold star from me for taking a chance and making the parade of beautiful but ordinary dresses that much more interesting.

He gave us a good reason to join corporate America. Suits are boring, right? Not when Alexander McQueen designs them. Whether they're plaid or houndstooth, trimmed with fur or paired with a plunging neckline, McQueen made woman want to put on a suit. Michelle Obama knows--she's wearing a McQueen pinstriped suit in the photo above. Clothing should never be boring, even in the boardroom, and McQueen made it possible for fashionistas to bring it at the office.


He brought the crazy. As long as your name isn't Lady Gaga or Daphne Guinness, chances are you wouldn't be caught dead in any of the ensembles above. But they are SO interesting to look at! One of the things I love about McQueen is that he can outfit the First Lady of the United States in a tasteful suit, and then turn around and provide the jaw-dropping costumes for Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" video. McQueen was truly imaginative and versatile. 


You can't beat his runway shows. Each time McQueen premiered a new collection on the runway, the fashion world held its breath. He's made his models chess pieces, aliens and dancers. His sets have been beautiful, bizarre and creepy--usually all at once. He was one of the first designers to stream his show live on the web, making him an innovator with an eye towards the future. 

There isn't much I can say that hasn't been covered elsewhere, but I had to take a moment to look back at McQueen's astounding career. As upsetting as it is that we will never see a McQueen show again, I take comfort in knowing we have what he gave us while he was here, and hope that wherever he is now, he is at peace. 

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