Alexander McQueen’s death leaves a hole on the catwalk
It’s a sad sad day in fashion. One of the most brilliant designers of our time, Alexander McQueen has committed suicide and left behind a style world in mourning. For those of you who aren’t in fashion, this probably doesn’t mean a lot. Big deal, another poncy designer bites the dust.
But this is a big deal. It reminds me of when Gianni Versace was killed, though I was probably too young to be sad then. This time round, when one of the greats is and it has left an empty hole on the catwalk.
See, there aren’t many greats in the fashion world. That’s why they’re revered. Sure, there are lots of people who call themselves designers, but as Kate Moss said recently, rebuffing the remark that she was a designer to UK Harper’s Bazaar journalist Glenn O’Brien: “Um . . . I’m not really a fashion designer, I just love clothes. I’ve never been to design school. I can’t sketch. I can’t cut patterns and things. I can shorten things. I can make a dress out of a scarf.”
O’Brien responded: “Well, that’s what lots of famous designers do. They find great old clothes in stores and copy them. Most designers today are really stylists. How many do you think can really sketch?”
To which Kate replied: “Lee [Alexander] McQueen doesn’t do that! [John] Galliano doesn’t do that! There are lots of them who don’t. Stella [McCartney] is a proper designer!”
Alexander McQueen pushed boundaries, making clothes that were, as so well put by Karl Lagerfeld this morning: “There was always some attraction to death, his designs were sometimes dehumanized.”
And he did just that – his designs were out of this world, from another time. He was always looking forward and his work was completely original and inspired.
New York Fashion Week began yesterday, and the mood turn from lively anticipation to instantly sombre.
Vogue Editor Anna Wintour released a statement saying “We are devastated to learn of the death of Alexander McQueen, one of the greatest talents of his generation. He brought a uniquely British sense of daring and aesthetic fearlessness to the global stage of fashion. In such a short career, Alexander McQueen’s influence was astonishing – from street style to music culture and the world’s museums. His passing marks an insurmountable loss.”
My favourite Alexander McQueen moment? Besides his latest show when those huge shoes made worldwide headlines? It was just after the great Kate Moss cocaine scandal when most of her darling fashion friends had deserted her, big companies were dropping her from their ad campaigns, the media was shoveling dirt on her and she was no doubt feel utterly low. McQueen did his usual fabulous catwalk show, and then walked the runway in a t-shirt that said “We Love You Kate!”
It made me happy to know that even in the superficial, cutthroat fashion world where everyone is secretly waiting for others to fall, that there are real friends.
More on Nedahl’s website, www.cocolee.com.au
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