I woke up early on the 12th with an IM from my friend about the designer Alexander McQueen’s death the day before in London. My sister on the East coast confirmed it was suicide before I had a chance to look online for the details. If you are interested in fashion you have probably already read something (if not a lot) about his larger-than-life contributions to the industry.
It’s been a week and I am just now processing his passing enough to write about it. I never met him, never attended his fashion shows, or even heard too many soundbites from this rather shy man…unlike other designers who are so adept at pushing their brand. He’d surfaced on the fashion radar in the latter part of the 90s–right around the same time when I started to get serious about buying to collect–and quickly found a cult following in fashion fans like me who cheered him on through both his struggling and triumphant collections. We couldn’t get enough of his imagination. Even his run at the revered House of Givenchy was brilliantly irreverent.
While I found his runway collections incredibly creative, I’m sad to say I couldn’t fit into any of his clothes. So I dabbled in his accessories. It’s passÃ© to talk about skulls now–until they come back around again that is–but I believe at one point I had his skull scarves in all colors and textures. The skull jewelry and clutch don’t go out much but they are there, just so I could claim to have a piece of his mind.
And I was mad about his collaboration with Samsonite; the line of ribcage luggage was just right up this nomad’s alley. Creepy and quirky and insane, in a mad genius sort of way. Just like everything else that came out of his head. Of all the incredible collections that are churned out season after season, his was always the highlight for me. It was over the top and exactly what a fashion show should be: controversial enough to inspire creativity. There’s no one like McQueen.
It’s so sad that he’s gone.