Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Heartbreaking Loss of Alexander McQueen

This morning, upon learning that visionary designer Alexander McQueen had passed, my initial thought was that he couldn't handle the pressure of out-doing his Spring 2010 collection.

I now take that back. As the news settles in, I am terribly upset to think that such an artist is gone. Few designers have such a knack for balancing theatrics and genuine sartorial genius - and I have not a doubt in my mind that McQueen would have shocked and offended and bemused us all again.

Who can forget the spectacle of lithe models gliding down the stage with the bizarre ten inch lobster-alien shoes, carefully masking their trepidation behind detached faces? Or what of the hologram of Kate Moss? His bow at the end of a show in a bunny costume? Bumsters? The "Highland Rape" collection? McQueen took chances, and some were successes, and some - not so much.

But frankly, I have never questioned his technical abilities and talent. The man could cut and drape cloth like nobody's business. I remember the first time I saw a dress from his Spring/Summer 2003 collection, made out of sand-colored organza and chiffon. I think it spoke to every one of my romantic sensibilities and fantasies. The stunning, shredded goddess-at-sea piece was reminiscent of the powerful wet-drape folds covering the Nike of Samothrace.

And I suppose that is why I'm so upset by the loss of Alexander McQueen. His penchant for the spectacle and the spectacular never felt like artifice: he buttressed even his most ridiculous creations with uncommonly excellent craftsmanship. He tapped into our greatest fears and dreams; he fed our appetites for romance and sin. His presence will be missed dearly.

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1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful tribute to such a great talent!!!