Requiescat in pace

Isabella Blow discovered and inspired him, the fashion industry simultaneously mocked and adored him, the world today mourns him. Fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, dead at 40.


“For every 1,000 so-called designers who pin a piece of jersey around a mannequin and call it fashion, there’s only one McQueen, an explosively imaginative designer who openly courted controversy (he called one of his early collections, a mix of military jackets and torn-lace dresses, “Highland Rape”) but who also treated craftsmanship as a foundation and not an afterthought (he began his career as an apprentice on Savile Row, helping to construct custom-made suits for the likes of Prince Charles and Mikhail Gorbachev). In a world where fashion churns through chain stores like H&M and Forever 21 at a dizzying and alarming rate, McQueen’s death at age 40 is a sad reminder of the way certain values have been misplaced in our culture: Not just in fashion but in all creative fields, thought, precision, wit and a sense of history are rare and endangered qualities.”



Friend and fellow blogger HOBAC discovered this profoundly lovely clip that encapsulates the imaginative daring and brilliance of McQueen. A small, but far from insignificant, gem.



Photo: Silent Storyteller




~ by eaesthete on 02/11/10.

6 Responses to “Requiescat in pace”

  1. realy upsetting…i feel for his family.
    and he is too young to die.

  2. One of the very finest couturiers in today’s fiercely starved world of fashion design…He had it all…and he gave us his all. I cannot believe that yet another visionary in this world has been taken from us. We need beauty more than anything else.

  3. Say it is not so.

  4. Beautifully put.

    His ‘Overlook’ – Autumn/Winter 1999/2000 ice show was the first fashion show I attended, and the first show in which I got to meet Isabella Blow.
    I cannot help thinking of an interview he gave shortly after her death in which he mentioned her visiting him, despite their misgivings, shortly before her death.
    He said she was very cleverly making peace with everyone ( I too saw her a few days before in our local town we called home) so she could THEN take her own life, like photographing one’s house the day one moves out, so one can move properly and fully to a new dwelling. I suspect that her suicide effected him so deeply it became the ultimate and possibly only way to end his pain.

    I also suspect that like many gay men, the thought of his Mother’s death was just too much to cope with.

    I just feel complete loss, that another fragile soul has had to go where it’s perhaps easier. I hope he’s taken care of when he’s there.

    • Jimjam (Jamie),

      Thank you for this. His was a fragile soul, indeed, and for many I think ending one’s pain is incomprehensible. But then despair is a lonely place that doesn’t permit guests. Only speculation. How wonderful that you witnessed his genius first hand and met the incomparable Isabella Blow. I copied this small passage that I thought summed him up:

      “He may have been tortured—and he was, layers and layers of emotional pain, which he remedied for years with drugs—but he knew exactly what he wanted to achieve creatively, and did so boldly. At the same time, there was a sort of lyrical romanticism in his work, as if buried under all that the rage there was a poet.”

      The same piece said this on his mother:

      “McQueen’s soft spot was his mother. He would bring her to his shows, and when you saw her there, this lovely old English lady from London’s East End sitting in the front row among movie stars and rock stars and eccentric magazine editors, you felt that she was his bit of sanity in the surreal world of fashion—his anchor. She died last week, and his grief, it seems, was too profound.”

      The article is in Newsweek and can be found here.

      Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories.

  5. Dear EA,

    Thank you for this and the exquisite video. It’s awfully, awfully sad.

    — Miss W

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