Friday, February 12, 2010

Ode to a genius

Love him or hate him... Genius or mad man? Alexander McQueen's unique view of fashion was always poignant and daring. So it's really with great regret that we from fashion buddha would like to remember this fashion icon.

Born Lee McQueen in 1969 in Lewisham, London, to a taxi driver and Joyce, a social science teacher, McQueen was the youngest of six children. He started his career as an apprentice with Savile Row tailors Anderson & Sheppard.

His escalation to success started when fashion stylist Isabella Blow, bought his entire graduating collection and encouraged him to use his middle name to launch his fashion career.

McQueen made his name first in London, then wooed audiences in Paris, New York and Milan to take his place in the upper echelons of the designing world. He was named British Fashion Designer of the Year four times, and was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003, when she made him a Commander of the British Empire for his fashion leadership.

McQueen's early runway collections developed his reputation for controversy and shock tactics earning him the title "l'enfant terrible" and "the hooligan of English fashion". 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.

McQueen was known as a private man who shunned the limelight. He turned down most interview requests and did not cultivate a cult of personality. He truly ignited a spark in London's fashion, helping to revive it after the long-dormant period that followed the punk explosion in the 1970s.

Because of his influence in the fashion industry and his great tailoring skills, he will be remembered as one of the greatest designers and trend-setters of his time.

May he rest in peace.

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