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The Great Loss of a Creative Mind — Cut On The Bias

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

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The Great Loss of a Creative Mind

February 11, 2010, is a sad day for many in the fashion and design world.  For this is the day that the legendary and critically-acclaimed fashion designer Alexander McQueen was found dead in his home,  after allegedly taking his own life.  Fashion designers and  fashionphiles around the world are mourning the loss of one of the most creative and innovative designers of his generation.   His creations were critically acclaimed and could even be called masterpieces, while those not in-tune to fashion may have asked how in the world people could wear such things.  One example of that would be his “armadillo” heels, a 10-inch tall stiletto.

While his designs were loved by many fashion critics, he had yet to receive the greatest commercial success.  McQueen’s name has become more well-known over the last few years, nevertheless he traveled  a long road to get to where he was at the time of his untimely death.

Lee Alexander McQueen was born in London in 1969 to a taxi driver father and social science teacher mother as the youngest of six children.  Alexander started at a young age to design and make dresses for his sisters sparking a desire to become a fashion designer.  As a teen, he became an apprentice to Savile Row tailors, Anderson and Sheppard, and later worked with theatrical costumiers.  After a short time in Milan, Italy, McQueen returned to London and attended Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design where he received a Masters degree in Fashion Design.  It was around this time that he met a well-known British fashion stylist, Isabella Blow, and she persuaded McQueen to change his first name from Lee to Alexander for the launch of his own fashion line.

After finishing design school, McQueen was initiated as head designer for Givenchy in 1996, following John Galliano.  Many were shocked that McQueen had been chosen, and his designs seemed to be a little too rebellious and controversial for Givenchy.  His contract with the company lasted until 2001, and McQueen left to pursue his own line since he felt that Givenchy was “constraining his creativity.”  It was after he launched his own line that cemented his reputation for shocking and controversial runway shows.  He changed the way many came to view the runway by combining fashion and technology into his shows.  In 2006, for example, his show entitled “Widows of Culloden” featured a life-sized hologram of British supermodel Kate Moss draped in flowing fabric.

Alexander McQueen accomplished many honors in his time as a designer, such as being the youngest to be awarded “British Designer of the Year” four times between the years of 1996 and 2003.  The Council of Fashion Designer Awards also named him International Designer of the Year.  In late 2000, Gucci Group became partners with McQueen and aimed to open stores in the fashion capitals of the world with McQueen on board as Creative Director.  McQueen was also the first designer to team up with MAC cosmetics to launch a limited edition line of makeup with the brand.  McQueen was a favorite among many celebrities on the red carpet and at Hollywood parties, dressing everyone from Rihanna to Sarah Jessica Parker.  More recently, many younger music fans have seen more Alexander McQueen than they may be aware.  Lady Gaga has featured many of his creations in her music videos, especially in the video for “Bad Romance.”  The sometimes controversial pop star wore dresses and shoes designed by Alexander McQueen, most noticeably the armadillo heels and the dragon stilettos, pictured below.

Lady Gaga’s red lace ensemble she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards was also an older piece by Alexander McQueen, except for the red crown which the Haus of Gaga added themselves.  He also recently dressed many actresses for the 2009 Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globes.  One of the stars who wore his creations included Sandra Bullock, pictured below, as well as Drew Barrymore and Kate Bosworth.

On the day he was found dead in his home, McQueen was set to show his new line entitled McQ at New York fashion week.  The show was cancelled after the news of his death broke, and even his website is shut down for the time being.  The designer had apparently been going through a hard time as of late;  his mother just passed away a little over a week ago and McQueen had posted on his Twitter account that he was having a rough time getting through it.  He had also lost his good friend, Isabella Blow, who was mentioned earlier in this article.  In 2007, she took her own life after being called irrelevant to the design world.  We may never know what McQueen was going through in his personal life, but his death is sure to sadden many and we have truly lost one of the best designers who was just starting to become noticed in most of the world.

We have truly lost one of the great creative minds of our generation. Let us know what you think or express your condolences by commenting below…

Contribution: Joey Williams

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/11/alexander-mcqueen-dead-fa_n_458250.html

About Terrance Brown
I have a bachelors degree from the University of Alabama in World Business concentrating in International Marketing and French. I spent the past 3 years working at a large ad agency as a Broadcast Negotiator, on accounts such as Ford, Dominos, Burger King, Olive Garden, Cellular South, and Toys R Us to name a few. After being laid off in February '09, I've switched my attentions to helping make Refugee Desiger.com become a destination covering all aspects of design.


  1. Dougles says:

    Im depressed…

  2. tbyrons says:

    I loved Alexander and his work! I really liked how gaga showed it off. He is a real loss to the fashion community! We will miss him!

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