Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Tribute to the Late Alexander McQueen

On February 11, 2010, just days before the start of London Fashion Week, the fashion world was devastated by the news of the death of avant-garde fashion designer Alexander McQueen. He was found dead at his Mayfair home in London. The devastating news came just weeks after the death of his mother Joyce and three years after the suicide of his friend and infamous style icon Isabella Blow, who had helped launch his career. London coroner explained that the 40-year-old-designer had taken sedative drugs and cocaine before he died of asphyxiation and hanging. 

| Alexander McQueen Amazing Runway Show |

McQueen's spring 1994 collection was the first of his collection which hit the stage of London and featured models strutting down the runway splattered in blood and dirt. The designer received endless press for his 'bumster' pants that revealed more than a little bottom cleavage. 
McQueen's Fall 1995 infamous "Highland Rape" collection was based on the exploitation of Scotland at the hands of the British empire. Dresses in traditional tartans and lace were torn to expose model's breasts and editors were furious. 
McQueen's Fall 1998 collection was inspired by the brutal murders of the Romanov dynasty. Models walked the runway wearing chain mail ensembles and red leather suits.The dark production ended with a model trapped inside a satanic ring of fire around the runway. 
McQueen's Spring 1999 collection opened with physically handicapped athlete Aimee Mullins walking the runway.The show ended with Shalom Harlow strutting the runway wearing a white trapeze dress that was suddenly spray painted by two robots live on the runway. 
McQueen's "The Overlook" Fall 1999 collection was based on Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film The Shinning and featured models ice-skating wearing elaborate pieces. The artificial snow landscape was the perfect backdrop to show off luxurious furs and coats.
McQueen's Spring 2000  show a fashion's "enfant terrible" turned the runway into a terrifying bed of metal spikes and nails and models were lifted into the air showing off sheer knits, body hugging jerseys and a re-working of the burka.
For the Spring 2001 "Voss" collection McQueen seated the audience around a giant mirrored cube. The set was disturbing but the frocks were theatrical. Kate Moss and Erin O'Connor were trapped inside the cube as was a naked Michelle Olley who reclining on a couch breathing through a tube. The elaborate show that cost £70,000 to produce.
McQueen's Spring 2004 showed a models dancing and running around the stage wearing simple, more sophisticated pieces. Michael Clark choreographed the presentation based on the dance marathon in Sydney Pollack's film They Shoot Horses Don't They
Spring 2005 collection, Alexander McQueen transformed the runway into a giant chessboard. 36 models took their places and then fought against each other like an actual game of chess. Some of the styles from the collection were inspired by the film Picnic at Hanging Rock
 McQueen's Fall 2006, "Widows Of Culloden" collection was tribute to the women who lost their husbands in the bloody battle of Culloden. The show will always be remembered for the haunting holographic video starring Kate Moss that was shown. 
For Spring 2009, McQueen presented his extravagant "Horn of Plenty" collection in Paris. Models walked the scrap yard runway which was created with props from past shows to Marilyn Manson's song "Beautiful People". Bold stripes, prints and colours dominated as did clown-like make-up. 
 McQueen Spring 2010, the "Plato's Atlantis" collection was an apocalyptic forecast of the future ecological meltdown of the world. A video of Raquel Zimmermann lying naked in the sand with snakes writhing across her played in the background while 2 robotic arms with video cameras flew up and down the runway. 

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