Tag Archives: Alexander McQueen

McQueen — Trailer

Alexander McQueen, four-time winner of the British Designer of the Year award, didn’t look like one of the most important and influential designers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

But, like Bowie, like Warhol, he seemed to be living not in the present, but in some vastly more exciting, colourful, and, yes, dangerous future. Like them, his life and vision helped bring that future into being.

A new documentary, titled simply McQueen, went into limited release last week.


McQueen’s October 2009 “Plato’s Atlantis” presentation, featuring his Spring/Summer 2010 collection, showed him at his peak.

Just breathtaking. Other than that, I’ve got no words.

The song at the end of the show, btw, was the surprise début of “Bad Romance”, by McQueen’s friend, Lady Gaga.


Back in 2015, I visited the V&A’s “Savage Beauty” exhibition in London. Here are some of the clothes from that show:

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This Time, Sir Frederic Leighton Meets Alexander McQueen

The London Fashion Week collaboration between the Leighton House Museum and British fashion photographer Ram Shergill continues.   Shergill has been coupling his own photographic works with specific paintings by Leighton.  This is the fourth of five match-ups.

They seem to be getting more literal.


“I particularly like this image of Leighton’s ‘Head of an Italian model’ as it has a certain realness about it.  I love the darkness of it as it takes me right back to the time when I first started photography.  There is something quite dark and macabre about this portrait.The image reminds me of when Alexander McQueen showed me some of his art and photography books and said that he was into ‘the macabre’ – something that mesmerized me.  This image captures a ‘sensual’ macabre for me as it is a magnificent portrait of a beautiful profile. But there also seems to be something sinister in the way the subject is looking up as if to pray, or to perhaps reflect on something that he has done or is intending to do.  Since meeting McQueen, my work has always contained this edge. The palette is similar to some of the great paintings by Caravaggio who has inspired various works by me.  The lighting lends itself to the display of light-coloured fabrics in combination with the pale skin tones of the human body.”

—Ram Shergill


I spent the first two weeks of Spring in London this year, and one of the things that influenced my choice of time and location was the scheduling of two exhibitions that I really wanted to see: A Leighton House exhibition of 50 pictures from the Pérez Simón Collection, including Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’ s “The Roses of Heliogabalus”, was in its final days…

…and an Alexander McQueen retrospective was opening at my favourite museum, the V&A.

It never occurred to me to link the two.

Alexander McQueen — Savage Beauty at the V&A

(Note:  None of the photos in this entry are mine.  They were all found on the Web.)
????????As I mentioned earlier, my delayed arrival in London made me miss my timed-entry reservation for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Savage Beauty” exhibition, which is a retrospective on the work of the late Alexander McQueen.  I’d missed an earlier version of “Savage Beauty” at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, so I was doubly disappointed.

Even though my ticket clearly stated that there would be “No refunds and no exchanges,” and even though the V&A’s website said the show was sold out, I decided to see if I could get in anyway.   If I was refused, I’d still be able to spend the day at the V&A, which is my favourite museum.

And besides, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

Especially British strangers.  The delightful people at the V&A waved me right in, and this is what I saw:

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Magnificent exhibition!


Fashion, aka Fashion!

I don’t know fashion.  I don’t even know what I like.

My entire body of fashion knowledge comes from addictively watching early episodes of Project Runway, before ridiculous judging and a move from Bravo to Lifetime ruined the show, at least for me.  Haven’t watched a minute of it since the  Mondo/Gretchen fiasco, which was five or six years ago.

What attracted me to the program was that it let me watch tremendously talented and creative people, working under insanely tight deadlines, make something original and beautiful and exciting.  The imagination and creativity on display left me in awe.

The contestants  were often asked which designers had influenced them, and the name “Alexander McQueen” seemed to come up as an inspiration a disproportionate number of times.

Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A

I can’t imagine anyone actually wearing many of the garments in the V&A show.  McQueen wanted to design the 21st Century, and there’s a science-fictiony element to a lot of his work, as if he were making clothes for the 2070s instead of the present.  I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that he designed the wardrobe for David Bowie’s tours in the late 90s.

Alexander McQueen was a four-time winner of the  British Designer of the Year award.


Fashion, aka Fashion! and Me

As far as my own personal fashion sense…well, it’s pretty bland.  I’ve been dressing the same way forever:  Ralph Lauren button-front shirt, almost always a solid color.  Ralph Lauren khaki pants.

I know.  Boring.  But it works for me.

It’s only from the ankles down that I show any flair.  For the past several years, I’ve ditched the traditional black socks for footwear in a whole rainbow of colours.

The first President Bush has done the same thing.  He’s been wearing bright, sometimes mismatched socks for the last couple of years.  It’s become something of a signature for him.  I guess he’d decided that he’s old enough to do and wear whatever he damned well pleases, and more power to him.

But I thought of it first.

“Do Good Live Well”

Charity Buzz, whose slogan is “Do Good Live Well”, is featuring an auction of masks by noted designers for The Edible Schoolyard Project. Prices are surprisingly low, and the auctions are ending v soon.

Updated 18 December 2013: The auctions are now closed.

Jean Paul Gaultier Halloween Mask, as Seen in Vogue Current Bid: $825.00

Jean Paul Gaultier Halloween Mask, as Seen in Vogue
Current Bid: $825.00

Carolina Herrera Halloween Mask, as Seen in Vogue Current Bid: $175.00

Carolina Herrera Halloween Mask, as Seen in Vogue
Current Bid: $175.00

Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen Halloween Mask, as Seen in Vogue Current Bid: $275.00

Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen Halloween Mask, as Seen in Vogue
Current Bid: $275.00