A Personal Tribute to Alexander McQueen

McQueen through the years (from left): Spring 2003, Fall 2006, and Fall 2007.

The past few days, I have felt very discouraged and upset by the passing of Lee Alexander McQueen. As I write this, I almost feel unworthy of commemorating the man that for many of us has become a legend. To me, fashion is something beyond just what you put on in the morning. It signifies how you live your life, how you choose to portray yourself to the world. If McQueen had believed in this philosophy in the slightest, he would want his customers to embrace their inner-most desires and externalize them. This is why I am so personally devastated by the loss of this man. His collections were not confined to what is traditionally held to be beautiful or flattering; they were about the total projected image.

McQueen through the years (from left): Spring 2008, Fall 2009, and Spring 2010. All Images courtesy of Style.com.

I did not personally know McQueen, but his work spoke to me. The last collection that he presented for Spring/Summer 2010, "Plato's Atlantis," has been a major source of inspiration to me for the past six months. When I watched the full presentation, my jaw dropped as I saw the models glide down the runway in 10-12 inch heels that were unlike anything I had ever seen. I have had those shoes as my background on my laptop and cell phone ever since. I could not believe that these sculpture-like shoes even existed. To me, these shoes represented everything that McQueen was as a designer: epic, other-worldly, unconventional. When a fellow BARE staff member told me that she was able to touch these shoes while interning in New York City, I almost-violently grabbed her wrist because I felt like she had touched something that represented both fashion, art, and every feeling that can be evoked through both of those platforms. These shoes, like his work, can seem impractical and unwearable but this is why he will forever be remembered as more than just a fashion designer, but as an artist and a tastemaker. Fashion should be something that isn't just what the world wants you to wear, but something that will make you feel liberated.

McQueen's work defied so many constrictions that have been placed on designers by the fashion industry. When I learned, yesterday morning, that McQueen had taken his own life, I was shocked and could feel the creative energy that left our global culture. I am saddened that such creativity can lead to such self-destruction. His legacy will live on to those who truly were able to appreciate his work. There was so much more that I was looking forward to from McQueen. His impact was just beginning to make a lasting impression in the mainstream. The many of us who have been left inspired, excited, and changed by McQueen's work will remember him for as long as fashion continues to make an impression in our lives. I just hope that his absence from the world is what he foresaw as the future, as his vision is one of the few that I would truly trust.

Rest In Peace, Lee Alexander McQueen. You are one of the greats.

Jordan Silver
Creative Director

6 comments:

  1. Very well spoken... I share the sentiments

    ReplyDelete
  2. ah you said this better than i ever could. thank you for sharing this

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful tribute, Jordan. So sincere. Aimee, yours was great as well. RIP

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is beautiful writing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So eloquent and heartfelt. Forever one off the greatest.

    ReplyDelete