Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Alexander McQueen - First Book Since Designer's Death
The first of what will undoubtedly be many books on the late British fashion revolutionary, Alexander McQueen, will go on sale on May 7th.
Entitled "Alexander McQueen, Genius of a Generation", the 128-page volume traces McQueen’s remarkable life story, from a child, drawing on the walls of his parent’s council flat, in London’s East End, to his final, fabulous - but unfinished - fall/winter 2010/11 collection, shown posthumously, in a series of private presentations, in Paris.
More than 120 iconic images capture the dramatic and thought-provoking concepts of his catwalk shows, which fired the imagination of an entire fashion industry, from CEO to student; from 1995, in London, through to the hi-tech, cyber fantasy that was "Plato’s Atlantis", for spring/summer 2010, simultaneously live-streamed to millions around the globe.
The photographs demonstrate how McQueen’s vision eclipsed mere ready-to-wear and how he struggled and sought to define fashion through complex thought-processes, science and computer technology, special effects and elaborate sets which were astonishing examples of installation art, designed to showcase some of the most bizarrely-beautiful, ingenious and mind-boggling clothes ever seen on a runway.
The book is written by Kristin Knox, an international fashion journalist and blogger, and published by A&C Black.
It is a tribute to the astounding, shocking talent that was Lee Alexander McQueen, born March, 1969, d. February, 2010. Something of a late-starter at Central Saint Martins, he had already worked with the Savile Row tailors, Anderson & Sheppard, and Gieves & Hawkes - where he sharpened his surgeon-like cutting skills - and, later, the theatrical costumiers, then Angels & Bermans - which fed and fostered his lust for fantasy - as well as for the designers, Koji Tatsuno, and Romeo Gigli, in Milan, before arriving at the famous college to tutor in pattern-cutting. He enrolled instead for an MA.
The fashion guru, Isabella Blow bought his entire MA graduate collection, one piece at a time, and their friendship was one of the great platonic fashion "marriages" of its generation - until Blow’s tragic death by suicide in May, 2007.
Following a series of explosive shows at London Fashion Week, including "Highland Rape", and the launch of "bumsters", which ignited a global, and enduring craze for low-slung trousers, McQueen caught the attention of Paris. Following in the footsteps of John Galliano, he was appointed creative director at the august "maison" of Givenchy, part of the LVMH group, at just 27 years of age. It was always an uneasy alliance: the firebrand McQueen versus the entrenched values of a brand which had had Audrey Hepburn as a muse.
Surprisingly, McQueen lasted five years, before quitting, selling 51% of his label to Gucci Group and finally embarking on the outrageous creativity which was to set the fashion world ablaze.
McQueen’s death, at the age of 40, was announced in London on the afternoon of February 11th this year - the day before the funeral of his beloved mother, Joyce.
This excerpt is from: