McQueen for a Queen

Kate Middleton in Alexander Mcqueen by Sarah Burton. Image courtesy of stylelist.

She may not be queen yet (technically her royal title is Duchess of Cambridge), but Kate Middleton might as well be Queen of the Entire Known Universe -- I don't think a day has gone by where I haven't seen her face plastered on TV, T-shirts, and some truly kitschy tableware. As invested as I am in British culture, I promptly fell asleep at 1 a.m., just as the livestream was beginning on hulu, and missed the entire ceremony. No big deal. All I wanted to see was which designer Kate had picked to make her wedding dress.

Well, we all know now who the big winner was. Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton. The bride looked stunning in a dress that somehow managed to incorporate the drama of McQueen's trademark silhoutte and craftsmanship without overpowering her figure. As many commentators have said, it was a great success.

But, this was not a Lee Alexander McQueen creation, and I think it's important to make this distinction. In an interview with his mother, McQueen revealed some of the reservations he had about meeting the Queen, stating "I felt sorry for her. I've said a lot of stuff about the Queen in the past - she sits on her arse and she gets paid an awful lot of money for it - but for that instant I had a bit of compassion for her. So I came away feeling humbled by the situation, when I wouldn't have even been in the situation if it wasn't for you." He later goes on to say, "I didn't want to do it" because of his "views on what it stands for." What views were those? I don't actually know, but this is the man who once titled one of his collections "Highland Rape" as a testament to the destruction of the rape of the Highlands at the hands of the British; the same man who famously scrawled "I am a ****" into the sleeve of a jacket meant for Prince Charles. And isn't it ironic that the name of Alexander McQueen will now forever be linked with the woman whom Prince Charles's son married?

Sarah Burton and her team at Alexander McQueen have every right to be proud of their tremendous accomplishment. But, it saddens me to think that the spirit of McQueen -- his beliefs, his rebellion, his feelings -- seems to be now all but forgotten, buried under some crappy souveniers and a royal wedding.

Aimee Shimizu
Assistant Blog Editor

1 comment:

  1. Love this insight! Thanks so much for providing content on the royal wedding that's a bit more thought provoking.