The Londoner Lee Alexander McQueen could not have picked a better year to come into the world, 1969 (the man had walked on the moon, “Abbey Road” is released by The Beatles and the Woodstock festival happens in the United States), more precisely on the 17th March
The youngest of six brothers and the son of a taxi driver, McQueen left school at 16 with a basic cycle of uncertified arts and was an apprentice at Savile Row tailors, first worked for “Anderson & Shepherd” and then to “Gieves & Hawkes “. Shortly after he worked with costume designers for theater Angels and Bermans where he mastered 6 methods of pattern cutting from the melodramatic 16th Century to the sartorial needs became one of many signature McQueen.
At age 20, he was hired by the designer Koji Tatsuno, who also had his roots in British tailoring. A year later McQueen traveled to Milan, where he was hired as an assistant to Romeo Gigli. Both wanted to conceptualize the historical design, and the ability to cut McQueen and his experience with fantasies were helpful.
On his return to London, he completed a Masters degree in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martin. He showed his collection in 1992, and this earned the attention of fashion editor Isabella Blow who bought the entire collection for 5000 pounds and used it in an article about McQueen in Vogue.
|McQueen and Isabella in the early days|
Somewhat gloomy, the style of designer went to refining with time. Alexander McQueen is known for its emotional power and raw energy, as well as the romantic nature, but decidedly contemporary collections. Integral to the McQueen culture is the juxtaposition between contrasting elements: fragility and strength, tradition and modernity, fluidity and severity.
In less than 10 years McQueen became one of the most respected designers in the world. In October 1996, he was named Designer of Givenchy Haute Couture, where he worked until March 2001.
The stylist won the “British Designer of the Year” in 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003.
In December 2000, 51% of the brand Alexander McQueen was acquired by Gucci Group, where he remained Creative Director. The collections include ready to wear women and men, accessories, eyewear and perfumes. Expansion followed and opened stores in New York, London, Milan, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
McQueen’s death was announced on the afternoon of February 11, 2010. In the morning, his housekeeper found him. Paramedics were called and they gave it up for dead at the scene
McQueen died days before London Fashion Week, and nine days after the death of his mother, Joyce, 75, from cancer.David LaChapelle, a friend of the designer said that McQueen “was eating a lot of drugs and was very unhappy “at the time of his death.
McQueen left a note saying “Look after my dogs, sorry, I love you, Lee.”