Style and Beauty

Alexander McQueen, Designer Who Dead at 40

Alexander McQueen, the renegade British fashion designer known for producing some of the most provocative collections of the last two decades.

Mr. McQueen often showed a dark streak in his collections, commenting on brutality toward women and what he saw as the inanity of the fashion world, and it carried over into his personal life.

I’m actually lost for words… These are all from Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2010 show, and you’ll find more under the jump.

Alexander McQueen shoes

Alexander McQueen shoes

Shoes fashion world has been shaken today by the presence of the latest shoes from Alexander McQueen Shoes. They came up with armadillo design with the right shoes so high and skinned like armadillo. This shoe fashion has become a trend among celebrities of the world. Lady Gaga is an example. They really liked the form and the uniqueness of Alexander McQueen boots. These shoes are heavy selling will penetrate the market and the World Fashion markets, especially New York at some future time.
In some fashion shows, or fashion magazines the world, is now often presented collections from Alexander McQueen shoe-shaped “Armadillo”. Shoes are a favorite, and not one to be one of the most unique collections of your shoes.

Alexander McQueen (1969 – 2010) burst onto the fashion stage in 1992, courting controversy as headlines hailed him as the new enfant terrible. Though contentious and frequently misunderstood, he established the fashion label that is now internationally acclaimed and coveted without compromising his approach.

At the beginning of his career, Mr. McQueen became a sensation for showing his clothes on ravaged-looking models who appeared to have been physically abused, institutionalized or cosmetically altered, all while peppering his audience with rude comments. “I’m not interested in being liked,” he said. He once mooned the audience of his show.

alexander mcqueen shoes

alexander mcqueen shoes

But he was enormously creative and intelligent, and he seemed to sense that the fashion industry needed to have its buttons pushed. His fall 2009 collection was the talk of Paris when, reacting to the recession, Mr. McQueen showed exaggerated versions of all of his past work on a runway strewn with a garbage heap of props from his former stage sets. He was suggesting that fashion was in ruins.

“The turnover of fashion is just so quick and so throwaway, and I think that is a big part of the problem,” he said. “There is no longevity.”

In his work, Mr. McQueen drew on Orientalism, classicism and English eccentrics, and also his ideas about the future, combining them in ways that were complex and perplexing.

As designers have done for centuries, Mr. McQueen altered the shape of the body using corsetry and anatomically correct breast plates as a recurring motif. More recently, his work took on increasingly futuristic tones, with designs that combined soft draping with molding, or ones in which a dress seemed to morph into a coat. At his last show, in October, the models wore platform shoes that looked like the hulls of ships.

From the start of his career McQueen has both shocked and delighted his audience with raw presentations often depicting bleak history and anarchic politics. These shock tactics began in dimly-lit warehouses away from the staid environment of the London Fashion Week tents. His autumn/winter 1995 catwalk show in particular captured the headlines. Entitled Highland Rape, the collection featured dishevelled and battered-looking models in torn clothing. It was McQueen’s comment on the rape of the Highlands at the hands of the British; interpreted by others as a perverse and misogynistic celebration of the sexual violation of women. His spring/summer 1997 collection, La Poupee, featured a black model whose movements were restrained by a metal cage attached to her limbs, hit the headlines again. Inspired by the German puppet-master Hans Bellmer, the rusty contraption was designed to evoke a marionette; inevitably, again, some of the press saw bondage, slavery and the subordination of women.

McQueen’s flair for showmanship has led him to be celebrated as much for outrageous theatricality as for the unique combination of aggressive tailoring and lyrical romanticism in his clothes. As the stature of the McQueen name grew, so did the twice-yearly spectacle. His weird and whimsical catwalk narratives have included models encircled in flames, drenched in rainstorms or spun like music-box dolls on revolving circles in the floor. The shows are inspired by cult films by Stanley Kubrick, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Alfred Hitchock, or by the dark photographs of Joel-Peter Witkin. It Witkin’s work which inspired McQueen’s spring/summer 2001 show. Models staggered around, trapped in a mirrored box that obscured their view of the audience. Their bandaged heads and confused expressions evoked disease both physical and psychological. The spectacle ended as the walls of the glass box shattered to the floor to reveal an obese model wearing nothing but a gas mask, surrounded by hundreds of moths.

As he struck out on his own, Mr. McQueen was immediately recognized for his brashness. The models in his October 1993 collection walked the runway with their middle fingers extended, and their dresses were hand-printed to appear as if they were covered with blood; some of it looked fresh. He also showed trousers cut so low that they were called “bumsters.” Criticized at the time because some did not cover the rear, the trousers were credited with initiating a low-rise trend that eventually caught on with every mainstream jeans maker in the world.

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

He was called an enfant terrible and the hooligan of English fashion. The monstrous, sometimes sadistic, styling of his collections became a hallmark, as when he showed models wearing horns on their shoulders. A collection in 2000 was shown on models with their heads bandaged, stumbling inside a large glass-walled room with the audience on the outside as if its members were looking into a mental ward. But many of these motifs were actually based on historic scenes, from the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch to the films of Stanley Kubrick. Mr. McQueen once said he had sewn locks of human hair into his jackets as a nod to Jack the Ripper.

In 1990, when Gigli separated from his friends and business partners Donato Maiano and Carla Sozzani, McQueen returned to London where he sought work teaching pattern-cutting at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. Instead of a job, he was offered a place on the MA design course, his drive and impressive curriculum vitae making up for his lack of formal qualifications. With a loan from his Aunt Ren?e he completed his MA in 1992 and sold his graduate collection to the influential stylist Isabella Blow who went on to become his muse, patron and unofficial public relations agent.

McQueen immediately established his own label with a small collection presented at the Bluebird Garage on the King’s Road, Chelsea. It was here that his signature “bumsters” – jeans cut just above the pubic bone to reveal the cleft of the buttocks behind – made their first appearance. The brutally sharp styling of his collections could not obscure their sublime craftsmanship, historical cut and exquisite detailing. Impeccably tailored suits are softened with fine lace, while skin-tight leather is unashamedly sexual and subversive.

In 1996, Mr. McQueen received an offer from LVMH, the luxury conglomerate, to be the designer of the white-glove couture label founded by Hubert de Givenchy, whose elegant little black dresses had been immortalized by Audrey Hepburn. Mr. McQueen, who succeeded John Galliano in the role, stoked the fires of the French press, however, when he dismissed Mr. de Givenchy’s past work as “irrelevant.” But the move enabled Mr. McQueen, who had struggled financially, to do something he had always wanted: to buy a house for his mother.

In 2001 McQueen again made the headlines with the controversial move of selling a 51 percent share of his label to the rival Gucci Group. Their financial backing and insightful decision to encourage rather than suppress McQueen’s talents made the label an international brand. Today, McQueen has flagship stores in New York, Milan, London and LA; an accessories collection a menswear collection; and eyewear. He has been named British Fashion Designer of the Year four times, in 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003. In 2003 he was awarded International Designer of the Year by The Council of Fashion Designers of America and in the same month he was honoured as a Most Excellent Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to the British fashion industry and in 2004 McQueen was awarded British Menswear Designer of the Year.

A spokeswoman for iconic fashion designer Alexander McQueen, 40, says that he has been found dead at his London home, after apparently committing suicide.

Samantha Garrett, communications director for his company, Alexander McQueen, told the Associated Press his body was found this morning, adding, “we don’t have any information in terms of circumstances.”

His company, Alexander McQueen, issued a statement saying: “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. At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee’s family.

“Lee’s family has asked for privacy in order to come to terms with this terrible news and we hope the media will respect this.”

Alexander’s Fall 2010 collection for McQ was set to be presented today as part of NYC Fashion Week — however he was not scheduled to be in the city for its unveiling.

He was also due to reveal his new collection at Paris Fashion Week on March 9. London Fashion Week begins in a few days as well.

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