Alexander McQueen’s untimely death brought about two realities: he was the most passionate designer of the millenia, and that he was possibly the last designer standing – after Karl, Jean-Paul, and the equalling talented John – to carry a fashion empire on his back. Tears and billowing won’t do; all we have is memories. And even if his house is proceeded by someone new, McQueen’s hands, those eyes, that brain – is irreplaceable.
McQueen saw fashion through a world all his own; that’s what makes his collections so special. Many thought he was crazy – of course he was, how could a genius be normal? How could someone create a dress out of tulle and golden feathers with tiny gold embellishments at the hemlines and be average? How could someone juxtapose digital-print images of Archangels and “Bosch demons” with thigh-high leather boots? To be sane is but an insult, for, true talent and originality can only be found in the midst of madness.
McQueen was a British national – a badge he clutched to the very end – and that has everything to do with it. He was schooled in the early depths of the culture from its medieval history to its current punk tradition. And it’s all jumbled into a continuous theme just-so. He stayed on the soil and never relocated somewhere more topical or modern. The Alexander McQueen brand was British through and through. And the world gravitated to him because of his unyielding sense of identity.
Had McQueen been alive, the presentation of his final women’s collection would have been as theatrical as his mind; dramatic, fresh, and as blue as the red sea of Egypt.