Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Alexander McQueen was not an alt fashion designer. Being the head designer at Givenchy, working at Gucci, and then starting his own label..he was in the mainstream side of fashion and very successful at it. However, his work, in my opinion had a cheekiness to it, an edge that was very similiar to the kind of spirit that alternative fashion has. And this most prominently in his catwalk stuff.
Reading about subcultural influence on fashion, McQueen's name is often mentioned as taking influence from goth fashion in particular (as is Gaultier's) for his catwalk range.
McQueen's catwalk shows were famous for their blitzkrieg effect, innovation and outrageousness. In particular the talk about his shows will no doubt recall the hats he used for his 2009 Paris show, his models wearing a Borat inspired Mankini in 2006, the use of huge 12 inch stilettos on the catwalk, Aimee Mullins the amputee model or his famous low slung Bumster jeans.
He also employed cute technology, inlcuding a hologram of Kate Moss taking to the runway for his "Widows of Culloden" show in 2006. And, possibly borrowing from Goth subculture, his use of skulls in fashion became famous and was copied widely. As Karl Lagerfeld said of him: “There was always some attraction to death, his designs were sometimes dehumanized.”
In particular, some of his use of metal couture was very inspiring. McQueen went out of his way to find interesting British artisans/designers to help accessorise his catwalk designs.
Vale Lee Alexander McQueen. The only consolation to your loss to this world is that you leave behind many people who you have inspired over the years with your fantastic, irreverent and ingenious work.