Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
by Harold Bolton, Harold Koda, Tim Banks and Susannah Frakel, photographs by Sølve Sundsbø
Shockingly, Alexander McQueen cut his own life short in 2010; tellingly St Paul’s Cathedral was full for his memorial. A year later the mighty MOMA in New York, held, in effect, a retrospective of his work, concentrating on the designs from his extravagant, daring and iconic runway shows. This book takes the best from that extraordinary exhibition and offers insight into the mind of a man described as ‘l’enfant terrible’ or ‘hooligan of English fashion’.
Like many innovators, McQueen learnt the rules before breaking them. Following an apprenticeship as a tailor in Savile Row, he trained at Central St Martins and then became chief designer at Givenchy before setting up his own fashion house in 1992. Quickly his unflinching vision spread from the elite inner circle to the high street where, for example, his ‘bumster’ trousers and skull motifs took hold.
McQueen was a true maverick, creating shows that brilliantly subverted the fashion world. He designed exquisitely cut clothes that turned the tradition of British tailoring on its head: jackets incorporating prints of Christ crucified or with gazelle horns emerging from the shoulders, or dresses composed entirely of razor shells. Breath taking opulence was juxtaposed with the visual vocabulary of S and M or the brutality of the natural world. As this book attests, whatever McQueen designed, the effect was invariably compelling.
Illustrations: Alternate pages full colour
Dimensions: H:34.3cm, W:25.4cm, D:3.2cm
ISBN-10: 0300169787; ISBN-13: 978 0300169782