Final Show



In memory of those who couldn't stand the heat...


It was an exceptionally hot night in July and I had scarcely had any sleep. A cool breeze is invaluable on such nights, one cannot do without a fan or an open window at least to fight off the stifling heat and avoid waking up in a feverish state, as this time I did. My hair had wrapped itself around my neck from all the restlessness in those sleepless hours and little tear-drops of sweat trickled down onto my chest. How I longed for a cool shower and taste of fresh cold water. Gazing blankly at the white watch left lying on a bundle of clothes stretched over my petit dressing table, I got up quickly. Dragging my feet, I went up the stairs and stopped in front of the bathroom door. I stood there for a fraction of a moment, immovable, as if my feet had been glued to the floor. My eyes were still half shut and my will to wake up virtually nonexistent. Conscious I had to snap out of it, I flung open the door in front of me as if to invade and abruptly put an end to any mischief brooding inside. That movement alone exhausted me to the fullest and I sat down almost in a collapsing manner. I rested for a few moments and while I was resting images of the day ahead stared slowly to build up in my mind. Some collection pieces welled up in me, all of a sudden and with no prelude at all, forming the notion of Savage Beauty...

I remembered then, ´´Look after my dogs, sorry, I love you, Lee´´ words with which Alexander McQueen ended the story of the most powerful British designer in the world and that of the life of Lee McQueen. Today it is the talk of the fashion world and central theme to all runway backstages. It is said that everyone knew he was depressed, that he couldn’t cope with stress and losses, that he was taking drugs, but only echoes of ´´My God Lee, your designs are great´´ seemed to have been heard when words could have made a difference. In an industry that’s famous for taking no prisoners, Alexander’s death is one resembling too many and yet his life was so incredibly unique.

Born on March 17th 1969, Lee Alexander McQueen was a British fashion designer and couturier whose runway shows earned him the title "l'enfant terrible" and "the hooligan of English fashion". Lee’s unprecedented talent was caught early on. While working as an apprentice in the Savile Row workshop of Gieves & Hawkes, Alexander McQueen soon won the reputation of an impeccable tailor, adding to it a small matter of writing I am a cunt in the lining of a jacket destined for the Prince of Wales.

After a year spent in Milan, in 1994, Lee applied to Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London, initially to work as a patter cutter tutor but was persuaded to enroll as a student.  In the years to come, within the walls of fashion world, Lee would creatively design one shock after another, naming his collection Highland Rape in 2004 or sawing human hair into jacket linings alluding to Jack the Ripper. Those who witnessed it then had probably laughed of the notion that in the years to come, Alexander McQueen label would go on to create waiting lists around the world.

In an article for The Guardian in 2005, Jess Cartner-Morley said upon speaking to McQueen, that if we disregard his coarse language and catchphrases such as ‘I just don’t give a fuck’ he tended to repeat at least once every few minutes, we would see that this manner of speaking is a way for him to keep the fashion world at distance. A much needed distance and defense it seemed, as Lee would repeatedly describe his clothes as armour that makes women who wear McQueen look powerful and gives them the ability to ‘fend people off’...

Apparently, there is nothing superficial about fashion at the house of McQueen. Runway shows could easily be mistaken for theatre plays or group therapy sessions where observers are subject to shock treatments and whose psychiatrist successfully hides behind the theatrics.
More popular than ever, sadly without its creator, nowadays the McQueen House adds another trophy to its historic wall of merit; a unique art exhibition of the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art bearing the name of Savage Beauty.

I keep staring at this piece from the exhibition. It speaks louder than words…










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