Disruption can definitely ruin your day.
The news came to me not by someone’s whisper or through Twitter but through an e-mail from my nü-Berliner friend Daniel who in bold letters said: HOW DID HE DIE? Curious and intrigued, I let Google be my guide. Alexander McQueen is dead.
This man was a stranger to me but his work was familiar. The man whose Victorian Gothic aesthetic was not from textbooks nor was it a reinvention of old staples; Alexander McQueen stood on his own.
I, sadly, never had the privilege of meeting the man nor his first client, Isabella Blow, herself a working artpiece, adorned by Philip Treacy’s head objets . For a strange reason, unexplainable to anyone, I felt that he was someone I had met and with whom I have made better acquaintance through time. Jeanne Beker showed his collections on Fashion Television. Later, with the advent of the internet, McQueen’s designs were more accessible. His embrace of technology contributed to the drama of his shows particularly his last, where the whole show was captured by two cameras on robotic arms.
Plato’s Atlantis, Alexander McQueen’s Spring Summer 2010 collection, is the most dramatic, eclipsing his apocalyptic Autumn-Winter 2009. The 24 cm tall shoes shocked and awed. A lot has been written about them so I will refrain from commenting any further on the spectacle that it was.
Lee McQueen, as he was known, was a genius. His collections were a public declarations and visual manifestation of his mind. I will never know the man yet, for a strange reason, I feel that I know him. Furthermore, my chest feels heavy knowing that I will never see a fantasy in the flesh. Mr. McQueen, I am glad to have made your acquaintance.