Friday, 12 February 2010

a longer, more fitting tribute

Now I've got my head around it a little - it's sunk in, I've literally fought back the tears, I've worn sequins in tribute - I'd like to wax lyrical about the man who, for me, defined fashion in recent years, and inspired me to enter the profession in the first place.

Actually, McQueen didn't define fashion so much as he defined 'fashion as art' - his pieces were often (mostly...) unwearable, certainly for everyday; but as spectacles go, there was no other. It is unlikely there will be again for a long time.
Although, as I write, the story is on the news, and there was just a clip of him saying
"some people call it art; I just see it as a way of life". I think, this might be one of my favourite quotes ever. Applicable. Brilliant.

On Thursday afternoon, I went back and looked through the last few years; about 10 seasons worth; of collections.

That's something I've not really done before. Looking through a designer's back catalogue is really something, when you see trademarks that you hadn't noticed. Things they revisit season upon season, but that had never clicked with you. Why I'd never noticed feathers, unusual animal prints and snakeskin as a recurring theme in McQueen's collections, for example, I'll never know.
OK, mebs I'd noticed the feathers.

To see some of the most beautiful examples of contemporary fashion design in one go is something I can only encourage. Whether for McQueen or any other designer you admire - take the time; appreciate the craftsmanship.

I shan't soon forget seeing the oyster dress at the Met when I was in New York (almost 2 years ago. Wow. I believe the exhibition was something to do with form and structure. Just flicking through my NYC photos. It's been too long, and I didn't take enough of em. Alls I remember about the exhib is, there were Treacy hats, Chalayan craziness, and the oyster dress. Cue gawping.). Stunned into silence, such was the beauty, the intricacy, the uniqueness of it. I could only imagine the work that went into it.
This is still the case.

image from popbee

There are questions I'd like the answers to now. Well, there are questions I have, but actually want to know the answer is debatable.

What now for the McQueen label?
Will the show go ahead in Paris on March 9th?
Will someone step up as creative director of the Alexander McQueen label?

Wishful thinking demands '
yes, yesyesyespleaseeeee. it would be a fitting tribute..' to the first question and 'no! how would that be possible!?! who could possibly do justice to the label?!?!?' to the second.

This is for sure, the Paris fashion week calender is missing it's greatest draw, IMO. Fashion itself, is missing it's greatest draw. The one show I always, ALWAYS, got excited about.
You will be missed, Lee McQueen. RIP.

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L said...

Thank you for this very well articulated post. I have also turned to older McQueen collections, and there is so much to study and appreciate.

I think Paris fashion weel will feel very different this season, and I'm also extremely torn about whether I wish the collection to show or not.

jenn said...

thanks - his work is such an inspiration to me, i didn't think i'd be able to get across what i wanted to say...
i can't remember reading if it would or not, but there was a story the other day which suggests the label won't carry on - it's probably for the best.