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February 11, 2010

Fashion Designer Alexander Mcqueen Dies



The body of Alexander McQueen being removed this morning from his flat in London.
British fashion designer Alexander McQueen has been found dead at his London home after apparently committing suicide, aged 40, reports said Thursday.

Emergency services were called to his home in central London, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, and a Scotland Yard spokesman said the death was not being treated as suspicious.

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Alexander McQueen CBE (born Lee Alexander McQueen, 17 March 1969 - 11 February 2010 was an English fashion designer.

Born in 1969 in Hackney, London, the son of a taxi driver and the youngest of six children. McQueen started making dresses for his three sisters at a young age and announced his intention of becoming a fashion designer. He said that one of his earliest memories was from around the age of 3 when he drew a picture of a dress on a piece of bare wall which had been exposed by peeling wallpaper in the council house where his family lived. McQueen jokingly called it his first design sketch.

Read full profile on Mcqueen below.  I will do a post showcasing my favorite collections from Alexander McQueen also.


Career
McQueen left Rokeby School at 16, landing himself an apprenticeship with Savile Row tailors Anderson & Sheppard, then working for Gieves & Hawkes and the famous theatrical costumiers Angels and Bermans. Whilst on Savile Row, McQueen's clients included Mikhail Gorbachev and Charles, Prince of Wales; McQueen recounted in an interview that he once wrote the words "I am a cunt" in biro into the sleeve lining of a suit he was working on for Prince Charles.  At the age of 20, he spent a period of time working for Koji Tatsuno before travelling to Milan, Italy and working for Romeo Gigli.

McQueen returned to London in 1994 and applied to London's most prestigious fashion school, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design to work as a pattern cutter tutor. Due to the strength of his portfolio he was persuaded by the Head of the Masters course to enroll in the course as a student. He received his Masters degree in Fashion design and famously, his graduation collection was bought in its entirety by influential fashion stylist Isabella Blow, who was said to have persuaded McQueen to change his name from Lee to Alexander (his middle name) when he subsequently launched his fashion career.
Icelandic singer Björk sought McQueen's work for the cover of her album Homogenic in 1997.

Design history
Alexander McQueen's early runway collections developed his reputation for controversy and shock tactics (earning the title "l'enfant terrible" and "the hooligan of English fashion"), with trousers aptly named "bumsters", and a collection entitled "Highland Rape". McQueen was known for his lavish, unconventional runway shows, such as a recreation of a shipwreck for his spring 2003 collection, spring 2005’s human chess game and his fall 2006 show, Widows of Culloden, which featured a life-sized hologram of supermodel Kate Moss, dressed in yards of rippling fabric.

Givenchy appointment
The president of LVMH, Bernard Arnault caused a stir when he instated McQueen as head designer at Givenchy in 1996, succeeding John Galliano. Upon arrival at Givenchy, McQueen insulted the founder by calling him ‘irrelevant’. Thus, his first couture collection with Givenchy was unsuccessful, with even McQueen telling Vogue in October 1997 that the collection was “crap”. McQueen toned down his act at Givenchy, but continued to indulge his rebellious streak, causing controversy in Autumn 1998 with a show which included car-robots spraying paint over white cotton dresses, and double amputee model Aimee Mullins striding down the catwalk on intricately carved wooden legs. McQueen stayed with Givenchy until March 2001, when the contract he said was "constraining his creativity" was ended.


Accomplishments
Some of Alexander McQueen's accomplishments included being one of the youngest designers to achieve the title "British Designer of the Year", which he won four times between 1996 and 2003. He was also awarded the CBE, as well as being named International Designer of the Year at the Council of Fashion Designer Awards. December 2000 saw a new partnership for McQueen with Gucci Group acquiring 51% of the company, and McQueen serving as Creative Director. Plans for expansion included the opening of stores in London, Milan, and New York, and the launch of his perfumes Kingdom, and more recently My Queen. In 2005, McQueen collaborated with Puma to create a special line of trainers for the shoe brand.


McQueen became the first designer to participate in MAC's newest promotion: cosmetic releases created by fashion designers. The collection, McQueen, was released on 11 October 2007 and reflects the looks used on the Autumn/Winter McQueen catwalk. The inspiration for the collection was the Elizabeth Taylor movie Cleopatra, and thus the models sported intense blue, green, and teal eyes with strong black liner extended Egyptian-style. McQueen handpicked the makeup.


Company
By the end of 2007, Alexander McQueen had boutiques in New York, London, Los Angeles, Milan, and Las Vegas. Grammy winning trend setter Rihanna is one of the many celebrities who frequently wear Alexander McQueen, often seen wearing the pieces of clothing to events. Another is Lady Gaga, whose unique style often incorporates Alexander McQueen pieces in her music videos. As of 14 July 2008, the Alexander McQueen internet store has launched on the company website, allowing shoppers to purchase ready-to-wear and accessories online.


Death
His death was announced on 11 February 2010. McQueen was found dead at his London home and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. A statement released by his office on 11 February 2010 - referring to the designer by his given first name, Lee - read: "On behalf of Lee McQueen's family, Alexander McQueen today announces the tragic news that Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand, has been found dead at his home.". McQueen's death came days before London Fashion Week, although McQueen was not scheduled to show in the British capital.


On 3 February 2010, he wrote on his Twitter page that his mother had passed away the day before, adding: "RIP mumxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx." Four days later he wrote that he had had an "awful week" but said "friends have been great", adding: "now i have to some how pull myself together".


Personal life
McQueen was openly gay. He described coming out a young age: "I was sure of myself and my sexuality and I've got nothing to hide. I went straight from my mother's womb onto the gay parade".


McQueen received press attention after the May 2007 suicide of his close friend, Isabella Blow. The two met early in McQueen's career, when Blow desperately wanted to meet the young designer, even resorting to calling his mother in order to arrange a meeting. Rumours were published that there was a rift between McQueen and Blow at the time of her death, rumours that focused on McQueen's underappreciation of Blow. In response to these rumours, McQueen told an interviewer:

It’s so much bollocks. These people just don’t know what they’re talking about. They don’t know me. They don’t know my relationship with Isabella. It’s complete bullshit. People can talk; you can ask her sisters.… That part of the industry, they should stay away from my life, or mine and Isabella’s life. What I had with Isabella was completely disassociated from fashion, beyond fashion.

Scuba diving
McQueen's was an accomplished scuba diver and used his passion as a source of inspiration in his designs. An undersea influence was seen in his October 2009 fashion show, 'Plato's Atlantis'. Much of his diving was done around the Maldives

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2 comments:

Olivia said...

I can't believe this! I'm really speechless...this is very sad....I'm in disbelief.

Hidi said...

RIP..I am speechless. He was very creative with his designs. :(

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