Bonnie J Brown
Isn’t it ironic that a man who was known for his shocking and splendid fashion shows would take his life on the first day of New York Fashion Week? The fact that Alexander McQueen avoided the spotlight for most of his career as a fashion designer makes this catastrophe even more of a paradox. However, the impact with which McQueen left this world can certainly be compared to the impact he made when he first entered the fashion industry.
McQueen’s education in fashion began with an apprenticeship with the Savile Row tailors before eventually going to work with Angels and Bermans, a British company which supplies theatrical costumes to the entertainment industry. It was there where McQueen mastered six different patterns of the 16th Century, skills that are obvious throughout his designs. Upon graduation from London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, stylist, Isabella Blow, purchased his entire graduation collection.
Knowing that his early trainings began within the theater and entertainment industry thoroughly explains the theatrics he employed during his own fashion shows. Models weren’t strutting down the catwalk; they were more often than not required to be actresses working their way down rain drenched runways like in Spring 1998, or becoming a piece of impromptu art like in his Spring 1999 show, where his models were spun and drenched with bright sprays of paint. In 2007, his Fall collection was showcased as if it were theater in the round and in 2004, his models danced artistically down the runway. You never knew what McQueen would do within his fashion shows, but it was guaranteed to be entertaining and shocking, which had him dubbed the â€œhooligan of English fashion.â€
Even though McQueen was somewhat of a recluse as far as popular fashion designers are concerned, it didn’t keep celebrities from vying for his garments and even the opportunity to work with him. Throughout his career McQueen’s name has been linked to celebrities such as Bjork, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rhianna, and most recently, Lady Gaga. And the show must go on, since New York Fashion Week just marks the beginning of the many weeks of fashion to come in London, Milan and Paris. McQueen’s presence will sadly be missed.