McQueen Moments, Remembered

Yesterday, I remembered the man, whose spirit touched mine.

Today, I remember some of the bundles of visual delight he gave to us all.

With Copenhagen and Stockholm Fashion Weeks just wrapped up, New York Fashion Week in full swing and many more weeks of runway presentations ahead in London, Milan, Paris, Delhi, Mumbai and beyond, you needn’t look far to see the reach that Alexander McQueen had.

The menagerie of wild ideas that resided in his brilliant mind in a mere season, are still trickling down in the collections of so many, whom he inspired.

As an example, think only of the digital prints you’ve seen in every collection for the past two years. We saw them first during “Plato’s Atlantis”.

There are countless other examples.

Shared here, are a few of my favourite McQueen moments.

Alexander McQueen FW04 Evening Gown on Exshoesme.com
Why the best of artists are taken from us, only the universe truly knows. One of the show-stopping gowns from the FW04 "Pantheon as Lecum" show.
Alexander McQueen for Givenchy Haute Couture FW97 Leather Dress on Exshoesme.com
While his stint at Givenchy was short-lived, the impact of that early work is still evident today. Givenchy Haute Couture, Fall 1997.
Alexander McQueen Spring 2000 Red White and Black Cape on Exshoesme.com
Red, black and white drama, from Spring/Summer 2000.
Alexander McQueen Fall 2000 Synthetic Hair Coat on Exshoesme.com
A coat made of hair, for the Fall/Winter 2000 collection, was synthetic. The talent was real.
Alexander McQueen Spring 2001 Shoulder Castle Detail on Exshoesme.com
With Lee, we all had a chance to live in Castles in the Air, at least while watching his runway presentations. A look from SS01.
Alexander McQueen SS01 Oyster Shell Dress  on Exshoesme.com
McQueen was known for unusual "fabrics". For his SS01 collection, he fashioned a dress from oyster shells.
Alexander McQueen FW03 White Pants and Red Brocade Tail Coat on Exshoesme.com
One of the collections that stopped me cold is one that I affectionately call Tundra. It was actually called "Scanners" and I loved how McQueen took soft silks and brocades and gave them a razor-sharp edge.

And yes, it was the show with the model walking through the wind tunnel.

Alexander McQueen FW03 Optical Illusion Coat on Exshoesme.com
Precision. Perfection. Passion. These words were meant for McQueen. Another look from FW03.
Alexander McQueen FW06 Red Tartan Suit on Exshoesme.com
A tartan tribute to his Scottish roots, the "Widows of Culloden" collection from FW06 was one of my hands-down favourites. One day, this suit will find me.
AIexander McQueen FW06 Tiered Ivory Gown  on Exshoesme.com
It's the same show where Kate Moss appeared as a hologram, in a customized version of this dress.

If you’ve been living in a cave, it’s a moment you must see.

Alexander McQueen FW07 Gothic Cross Black and Green Gown on Exshoesme.com
But perhaps the one thing I appreciated most about Lee, was his gothenticity. A goth gown from FW07.
Alexander McQueen FW08 Metal Bird Head Piece on Exshoesme.com
He collaborated with long-time friend, jeweler Shaun Leane, on masterpieces like this.
Alexander McQueen FW08 The Girl with the Tree Dress on Exshoesme.com
The girl with the tree dress surely lived in McQueen's Victorian dreams.
Alexander McQueen FW08 Peacock Wedding Gown on Exshoesme.com
I think I held my breath during the entire presentation of "The Girl Who Lived In The Tree".
Alexander McQueen FW08 Red Velvet Jacket and Ivory Ruffles on Exshoesme.com
The ideas, the references, the technique - just in one show! It was too much to take in all at once.
Alexander McQueen FW08 Feathered Evening Gown on Exshoesme.com
The feathered gown of my dreams, since FW08.
Alexander McQueen FW08 Ivory Beaded Evening Gown and Red Silk Cape Coat on Exshoesme.com
A moment of silence. For brilliance.
Alexander McQueen FW08 The Girl Who Lived in a Tree Show Set on Exshoesme.com
The entire collection was inspired by a tree in the garden of one his houses. The backdrop for the show was a tree and stage, draped in fabric, a la Christo.
Alexander McQueen FW09 Black and White Optical Suit on Exshoesme.com
His love of art - and architecture - shaped so many of his creations, like this one from FW09.

The FW09 collection was Gehry-esque, for one.

Alexander McQueen PF08 Black Gown and Hat Olive Kimono Sleeve Jacket and Skirt on Exshoesme.com
I loved the shapes and silhouettes of the PF08 collection.
Alexander McQueen PF08 Black Gown and Hat on Exshoesme.com
These pieces created beautiful outlines in the environment in which you wore them, too.

These specific looks remind me of Daphne Guinness speaking about clothes being a part of architecture. It was also one of the first things I wrote about, in this space.

Alexander McQueen SS07 Lace and Embroidered High Shoulder Gown on Exshoesme.com
His vision shaped our view of things, too. A look from "Sarabande", in SS07.

To me, his was the purest of arts.

Alexander McQueen SS99 Painted Dress on Shalom on Exshoesme.com
One of my fave art moments, ever. One of my fave fashion moments, ever.
Shalom gets sprayed by painting robots, Alexander McQueen SS99 on Exshoesme.com
Can you believe this was in 1999?
Shalom in the painted dress in the Alexander McQueen SS99 show on Exshoesme.com
Shalom Harlow, in a freshly painted dress.

It was fashion, for commerce, yes. But his shows were all about social commentary, about the expression of thought, about evocation.

His ripple effect was vast. Is vast. Still.

And when the waters were still, they ran very, very deep.

Deeply missed, he is.

We gained so much from him.

We have lost so very much with him, gone.

Alexander McQueen, in 2003, after receiving his CFDA Award for Best International Designer on Exshoesme.com
A darling amongst men.

I can’t believe it’s been two years.

Images have been modified by Yours Truly. Original photos have been sourced from Style.com, AlexanderMcQueen.com, Elle.com, Vogue.com, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and from my very own, dusty digital archives.

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