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Alexander McQueen: A Retrospective

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Alexander McQueen became well known for the use of skull motifs in his designs. It became popular to incorporate them into clothing and on accessories such as scarves. He was also the first designer to participate in MAC's cosmetics campaign to release limited color lines created by the designers. He used Elizabeth Taylor's movie Cleopatra as the inspiration for his Fall 2007 show where the models used strong black liner in Egyptian-style with intense blue, green and teal eye shadows

His Spring/Summer 2010 collection called Plato's Atlantis is phenomenal. The models are strutting out on the runway wearing platform versions of extreme, fetish, ballet shoes. His short dresses look like pieces of painted origami with intricately folded sleeves and amplified shoulders. The models look part aquatic sea creature, part alien and part sexy brides of Frankenstein. "Plato's definition of Atlantis is a metaphor for Neverland, it could be anywhere in your mind, it could be a sanctuary and a escapism in bad times."-Alexander McQueen

His Fall 2010 line of Hells Angles and Demons is sublime. It is full of long, elegant gowns that look like ethereal, celestial robes. Some pieces are printed with feathers and wings and others have the fabric falling and folding to look like extensions of them. The models look like hallowed angels or part of a heavenly court. There are opposing demons as well that look powerful, imposing and magnificent. The silhouettes are all divine. "I don't think the world needs reality, it needs fantasy. There is enough reality in the world."-Alexander McQueen

On February 3rd he wrote on Twitter that his mother had passed away. "I'm letting my followers know my mother passed away yesterday if it she had not me nor would you RIP mumxxx…" Then on the Sunday he had written that he was having an awful week and his friends had been great but he needed to pull himself together to finish his Fall 2010 Hells Angels and Demons. On February 11, 2010, the scintillating Alexander McQueen was found dead in his Mayfair flat, taking his own life on the eve of his mother's funeral. He was only 40 years old.

Kate Moss, Naomi Cambell and Stella McCartney attended his funeral which was held two weeks after his death. Daphne Guinness arrived for the service held at Saint Paul's Church in Knightsbridge in a billowing black cape from the designer's 2002 collection. The family arrived wearing the McQueen tartan, a feature of the designer's memorable Highland Rape catwalk show in 2006 and the designer's trademark.

This tragedy hit home with me as I also lost my mother only a couple months before the time of his death. Alexander McQueen's passion and intensity will be sorely missed as well as his mother and mine. Our mothers are the ones that tell us that they believe in us every day, love us unconditionally and make us who we are. We must carry their spirit and their driving force with us in our hearts.

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Featured writer

Gail Brasie

Gail Brasie

Gail lives near Chicago and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature and a Master’s in Library and Information Science. Gail loves books, birds and Gothic Americana music.

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