英國著名時裝設計師Alexander Mc Queen被發現倒斃在寓所，終年40歲。警方星期四在Alexander Mc Queen位於倫敦的住所發現他的屍體，死因無可疑。當地傳媒報道，Alexander Mc Queen是於家中上吊死亡，懷疑他因為媽媽於本月2日離世之後，傷心過度而自殺。40歲的Alexander Mc Queen設計前衛創新，曾經獲英女皇伊利沙伯讚揚為英國時裝皇國的先驅。英國文化大臣白德生亦讚揚他對英國時裝界的傑出貢獻。 AlexanderMcQueen在1969年生於倫敦一個草根階層，爸爸是的士司機，他在小時候已經立志要做時裝設計師，並經常為三名姊姊做衣服。他在 16歲離開學校，在裁縫店做學徒，先後為多位時裝設計師工作，又曾經到意大利米蘭觀摩。他在1996至2003年，4次獲選英國最佳時裝設計師，並在03 年獲英女皇頒發CBE勳銜。
An enigma remembered
Nov 12th 2012, 14:47 by A.B.
After his death, the Alexander McQueen label still thrives. Last year Sarah Burton,
McQueen's successor, designed Kate Middleton's royal wedding dress. In New York, people queued for hours to see “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”, a retrospective of his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition attracted more than 650,000 visitors making it one of the most-visited shows in the Met’s history. At this heightened McQueen moment, publishers are keen to capitalise on his story—at least three books bearing his name are out this autumn, revealing the man and his work with varying degrees of intimacy.
Judith Watt, his friend and a fashion historian at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, where McQueen studied, tells her version of his life in “Alexander McQueen: The Life and Legacy”. The most comprehensive biography of McQueen thus far, it tells his story from a tailor's apprentice on Savile Row to his seminal “bumster” trousers and on to his tragic end. She uses never-before-published photographs, ephemera and anecdotes from his closest friends and collaborators, such as heiress Daphne Guinness and choreographer Les Child. Simon Ungless, his fellow student, recalls how he and McQueen accidentally lost the garments from the designer’s first collection after a night of partying.
Ms Watt details how McQueen was often misunderstood: his autumn 1995 “Highland Rape” collection was called misogynistic. Actually, she writes, “it was about genocide—the rape of a culture”. McQueen was a depressive but that may also have been the source of his inspiration. She says he often felt that “out of his despair came flights of beauty, images and ideas simply beyond the capability of most other designers of his generation.”
By contrast, “Alexander McQueen: Evolution” is a general introduction to the designer. A 216-page coffee-table book, it is crammed with runway shots and written by an obvious fashion outsider, Katherine Gleason (the author of titles such as “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft”). Ms Gleason presents all 35 of McQueen’s eponymous shows using the same format: a brief introduction detailing the venue and theme, a description of the presentation and clothes, and a round-up of each season’s reviews from critics. It neatly details his influences (his Scottish heritage, the destruction of nature, death and Yoruba mythology) and displays the dark drama of his shows, but it is all rather impersonal and distant from both McQueen and his collections.
Anne Deniau’s poignant narrative, “Love Looks Not With the Eyes: Thirteen Years With Lee Alexander McQueen”, is a magnificent work that offers a more intimate portrait of the designer through images. Ms Deniau, a photographer, first documented McQueen behind the scenes at his Givenchy runway debut in January 1997. She went on to photograph backstage at McQueen’s shows for 13 years. “I wanted you to document my life from the beginning, in your unique way,” Ms Deniau remembers McQueen telling her in 2009.
The striking photographs show a side of McQueen very few saw, capturing him as he cuts fabric, smokes a cigarette in contemplation, and smiles with his friend Kate Moss, a model. The last few photographs, taken during the posthumous presentation of McQueen’s final collection, “Angels and Demons”, are among the most touching for his absence. One in particular stands out: a sombre Sarah Burton, who completed the collection after he died, ruffles the feathers on one of the designs that she finished for her mentor.
All three books are visual feasts that document a brilliant mind at work and a bewitching chapter of fashion history. They stop short of revealing the man himself, but they will leave fans nostalgic for the savage beauty of his designs.
Alexander McQueen: The Life and Legacy. By Judith Watt. Harper Design; 256 pages; $35
Alexander McQueen: Evolution. By Katherine Gleason. Race Point Publishing; 216 pages; $35 and £25
Love Looks Not With the Eyes: Thirteen Years With Lee Alexander McQueen. By Anne Deniau. Abrams. 400 pages; $75 and £45
Alexander McQueen, Dark Star of International Fashion
By SUZY MENKES
Published: February 11, 2010
Throughout Thursday, reports of the suicide of Alexander McQueen, the dark star of international fashion, had swirled across the Internet, a medium that the brilliant British creator had embraced with vigor.
The death of the iconoclastic designer, known by his first name, Lee, shocked the world of fashion and the arts as the autumn/winter 2010 fashion season opened in New York. The runway show for his McQ by Alexander McQueen line, scheduled for Thursday night in New York, was canceled.
His death at age 40 also may force the industry to examine the current environment in which a generation of young designers is under unprecedented pressure to expand each fledgling brand.
Mr. McQueen’s most recent Twitter messages, which were removed after news of his death, were filled with foreboding. On Feb. 3 he had announced the death one day earlier of his mother, Joyce, who was front row at all his shows. Then, on Feb. 7, using an expletive, he said it had been an “awful week...but now I have to some how pull myself together....”
Rising to fame in the 1990s, Mr. McQueen was unique in his raw vision combined with intricate craftsmanship. Skulls, bones and images of death were embedded in his work, as was a sense of the evil, smoky, Victorian history of London’s East End, where he was born in 1969, the son of a cab driver.
An irreverent and upstart attitude was part of his character, evidenced by the cheeky comments he embroidered inside a jacket made for Prince Charles while he was apprenticed to a tailor in Savile Row.
The early McQueen shows were a wild roller coaster of imagination and showmanship that went from the designer pulling his pants down to “moon” the audience, to stage effects like spraying ink jets of paint onto his models or covering the catwalk with storms of snowflakes.
Inspired by nature, from predatory birds to writhing snakes, the designer skillfully folded exotic prints or fanciful feathers into a fashion lexicon that included plaid and tweed from his family’s Scottish heritage.
Although often accused of a violent attitude to women, whom he recently dressed in carapaces and fetish-like shoes, Mr. McQueen had a love/hate relationship with beauty. Much of his work, built on precise tailoring linked to a soaring, romantic softness, was elegant in a skewed way.
Those skills first were spotted by Isabella Blow, an aristocratic British eccentric who was his mentor and helped bring him to the notice of Bernard Arnault and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, where he was made the designer for Givenchy in 1996. Mr. McQueen then was poached by the Gucci group, which supported and developed his own label.
Robert Polet, chief executive of Gucci Group, said Thursday, “I worked closely with Lee for the last five years. His creative force was inspiring to me and all those who were fortunate to know and work with him.
“Lee’s passing will be mourned deeply. He has left us too soon; he had so much more to give, but the legacy he leaves us is a rich one and one that we will cherish and honor.”
Ms. Blow continued to champion the designer’s work until her own suicide in 2007. That loss and a sense of guilt permeated Mr. McQueen’s psyche, although some of his recent work was his most joyous: The extraordinary high-tech show he developed with ShowStudio to stream live on the Internet last October — only to have his brand’s Web site crash when Lady GaGa tweeted that her new single would debut during the event — and his menswear show in Milan in January, when Art Nouveau wallpapers were inspiration for both the show’s backdrop and prints on the clothing. That show had the ebullient designer responding to cheers from the audience.
But it would be unjust if Mr. McQueen were remembered mainly for his awesome presentations, which were often collaborations with “Brit” artists like Jake and Dinos Chapman.
For the designer was a 21st century romantic whose soaring imagination, dipped into the dark side, made a mark on fashion history.