Alexander McQueen: Genius of a Generation by Kristin Knox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fashionistas and artlovers were devastated by the suicide of designer Alexander McQueen in 2010. Inarguably, he was gone too soon, but not before he blessed the design and fashion world with his incredible visions materialised. He was the Lewisham-born lad who was would have looked equally at home traipsing through the council estates with his pitbulls as he did on the catwalk. In fact, he would have looked much more comfortable on the street.
A 16-year old dropout, he managed to secure an apprenticeship in tailoring on Savile Row, followed by gigs with theatrical costume designers and Milanese fashion house, Romeo Gigli. His skill and uniqueness was embraced by Central St Martins when he returned to London to enrol in the early 90s.
His story, lushly illustrated with full page photographs, is told in Alexander McQueen: Genius Of A Generation by fashion blogger, Kristin Knox aka The Clothes Whisperer. Knox brilliantly and succinctly describes McQueen’s role to “compel the wearer or beholder to surrender to the fantastical and sinister world of which McQueen was the sole artificer...an enfant terrible.”
Fabulous photos include the bumsters in 2001, glass-boxed butterfly-laden models, the armadillo heels that famously adorned Lady Gaga. Whether antlered, red-eyed, covered in sequins and crystals, or toting the skeletons of foxes around their necks, his vision of women was as powerful, warrior like creatures that were part animal, part mystical goddess.
Knox recognises that there is no need for pages and pages of tightly packed text required to tell McQueen’s story. His life was his work and it best speaks for itself. The back cover image is bittersweet; McQueen gives his final wave on the catwalk and for us, it is the finale of a lifetime.
Alexander McQueen: Genius Of A Generation
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