An Open Letter to Lee Alexander McQueen

A piece from Alexander McQueen's Fall 2008 RTW collection. Image courtesy of

Dear Mr. McQueen,

I remember the first time I heard about you was during Season 5 of Project Runway. Some designer had done a pretty blatant copy of that amazing scarlet feather dress from your Fall 2008 collection, which Michael Kors recognized as soon as the model stepped onto the runway. When it came time for the judges to deliberate, your name was mentioned several times, and for two brief seconds they even flashed a picture of the dress (your dress) that the designer had used as “inspiration.” It was beautiful.

I must admit that, for awhile, I forgot the name “Alexander McQueen.” I couldn’t understand your vision because it was so out there, so… unpractical. No one has time to dress up anymore. But that was the point, wasn’t it? You were FASHION, not resort, not pre-fall, not ready to wear. When I see your clothes I see portals into other worlds, ones inhabited by Indian queens and reptilian Victorians. These are clothes meant for drama and adventure, for people who want to live! I know it sounds cliché, but it was the first time I realized that clothes could be more than what people just throw on every morning. You changed the way I looked at fashion.

So thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for all of your hard work, and thank you for sharing your brilliance with the rest of us. May you rest in peace.


Aimee Shimizu
BARE Reporter

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