Never-before-seen photos of McQueen’s brilliantly creative world from an exclusive backstage photographer Alexander McQueen, the iconic designer whose untimely death in 2010 left the fashion world reeling and fans worldwide clamoring for more, fused immense creativity, audacity, and a hauntingly dark aesthetic sense into powerful, unforgettable imagery. The strange, singular beauty of his clothing was matched by the spectacle of his legendary fashion shows, which demonstrated his outstanding showmanship and consistently pushed the boundaries of runway events. Robert Fairer’s intimate, vibrant full-color photographs of McQueen’s collections, taken backstage and on the catwalk when few photographers were allowed access, offer a unique insight into the life and work of one of the world’s most captivating figures. This previously unpublished portfolio of stunning, high-energy photographs captures the people and the spirit that made the designer’s flamboyant shows unique. Fairer, Vogue's backstage fashion photographer for over a decade, was an integral part of the whirl of activity behind the scenes. These images, which capture both the glamor and the grit, represent a new genre of fashion photography and are a treasure-trove of inspiration. This superb book contains an introduction and collections texts by fashion expert Claire Wilcox. Dynamic images of McQueen’s collections--thirty of his total of thirty-six shows are presented chronologically--portray behind-the-scenes moments that reveal stylists, models, hairdressers, makeup artists, and McQueen himself at their most candid and creative.
An intimate and revealing look at the personal and professional life of the fashion world's most visionary designer. This incredible volume strips away the layers of legend surrounding Alexander McQueen, revealing the sartorial genius and the true history of the man who reinvented modern fashion. Uncovering new details about Lee Alexander McQueen's humble childhood in East London, author Judith Watt traces the young designer's ascent—from his graduate collection at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design to his over-the-top runway shows to the designs he created just days before his death at age forty. Providing new insights into the dark passion and inspiration that guided each fever-pitched runway show, this fully illustrated portrait delivers a truly comprehensive, in-depth look at the most provocative designer of a generation. Illustrated throughout with McQueen's personal drawings and ephemera as well as a mixture of exquisite catwalk and editorial fashion images, Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy is every bit as stunning as the designer himself. With more than 175 full-color photographs
"A modern-day fairy tale infused with the darkness of a Greek tragedy, [this book] tells the complete sensational story [of designer Alexander McQueen], and includes never-before-seen photos. Those closest to the designer--his family, friends, and lovers--have spoken for the first time about the man they knew, a fragmented individual, a lost boy who battled to gain entry into a world that ultimately destroyed him. 'There's blood beneath every layer of skin, ' McQueen once said. Andrew Wilson's biography ... dispels myths, corrects inaccuracies, and offers new insights into McQueen's private life and the source of his creative genius"--
From Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims, his 1992 graduate collection, to Plato's Atlantis, the last show before his death in 2010, Lee Alexander McQueen was as celebrated for the exquisite tailoring, meticulous craftsmanship, and stunning originality of his designs as he was notorious for his theatrical—and often controversial—runway shows. McQueen found inspiration for his avant-garde collections everywhere: his Scottish ancestry, Alfred Hitchcock movies, Yoruba mythology, the destruction of the environment—even the fashion industry itself. Whatever his inspiration, however, McQueen’s concept for his runway show came first and was crucial to the development of the collection. Every show had a narrative and was staged with his characteristic dramatic flair. Highland Rape featured disheveled models smeared with “blood” staggering down the runway in town clothes. In Scanners, two robots sprayed paint on a model trapped on a spinning platform. In Widows of Culloden, a hologram of supermodel Kate Moss held center stage. Other McQueen shows staged models walking through water, drifting snowflakes, rain, and wind tunnels; pole-dancing in garish makeup at a carnival, playing living pieces in a bizarre chess game, and performing with trained dancers in a Depression-era-style marathon. Illustrated throughout with stunning photography and liberally sprinkled with quotations from McQueen and those who knew him best, Alexander McQueen: Evolution is the story of the designer’s thirty-five runway shows and the genius behind them.
More than two decades ago, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen arrived on the fashions scene when the business was in an artistic and economic rut. Both wanted to revolutionize fashion in a way no one had in decades. They shook the establishment out of its bourgeois, minimalist stupor with daring, sexy designs. They turned out landmark collections in mesmerizing, theatrical shows that retailers and critics still gush about and designers continue to reference. Their approach to fashion was wildly different—Galliano began as an illustrator, McQueen as a Savile Row tailor. Galliano led the way with his sensual bias-cut gowns and his voluptuous hourglass tailoring, which he presented in romantic storybook-like settings. McQueen, though nearly ten years younger than Galliano, was a brilliant technician and a visionary artist who brought a new reality to fashion, as well as an otherworldly beauty. For his first official collection at the tender age of twenty-three, McQueen did what few in fashion ever achieve: he invented a new silhouette, the Bumster. They had similar backgrounds: sensitive, shy gay men raised in tough London neighborhoods, their love of fashion nurtured by their doting mothers. Both struggled to get their businesses off the ground, despite early critical success. But by 1997, each had landed a job as creative director for couture houses owned by French tycoon Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH. Galliano’s and McQueen’s work for Dior and Givenchy and beyond not only influenced fashion; their distinct styles were also reflected across the media landscape. With their help, luxury fashion evolved from a clutch of small, family-owned businesses into a $280 billion-a-year global corporate industry. Executives pushed the designers to meet increasingly rapid deadlines. For both Galliano and McQueen, the pace was unsustainable. In 2010, McQueen took his own life three weeks before his womens' wear show. The same week that Galliano was fired, Forbes named Arnault the fourth richest man in the world. Two months later, Kate Middleton wore a McQueen wedding gown, instantly making the house the world’s most famous fashion brand, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened a wildly successful McQueen retrospective, cosponsored by the corporate owners of the McQueen brand. The corporations had won and the artists had lost. In her groundbreaking work Gods and Kings, acclaimed journalist Dana Thomas tells the true story of McQueen and Galliano. In so doing, she reveals the revolution in high fashion in the last two decades—and the price it demanded of the very ones who saved it.
Magnificently illustrated with some of McQueen's most riveting designs, this book illuminates the struggles of a man who dared to defy accepted fashion norms and give the world a new sense of grandeur From conflicted gay teenager and aggressive and remote young man, through to his lonely suicide, this book charts Alexander McQueen's ascent to couturier par excellence, highlighting his spectacular shows and showing how his confrontational, streetwise manner was simply a shield that protected and masked a very shy, sensitive, and insecure man who hailed from the wrong side of the high fashion tracks. McQueen's talent is now globally acknowledged to have been unmatched in contemporary haute couture, and this book distills from the lavish sweep of his colors, designs, fabrics, and forward-driving concepts the essence of a man on a quest for beauty and his own contentment. In casting the spotlight on the stark contrast between catwalk glamour and his upbringing and personal demons, the book shows how his talent both nourished and destroyed him. It takes us from the vicious glare of the walkway where he was fêted by the wealthy and famous as an innovative artist to behind the glamour. There, defiance delineated a life that was hurled into inescapable depression by the deaths, first of his great friend and supporter Isabella Blow and then by his mother.
Celebrating his work and vision, Alexander McQueen: Fashion Visonary traces the designer's ascent from student to graduate and on to becoming one of the world's most respected couturiers - a story marked by celebrity friendships, unrestrained creativity, theatrical fashion shows and, ultimately, tragedy. This book is dedicated to McQueen's work and talent, and exhibits not simply visually electrifying fashion images, but also reveals the deep reservoir of the designer's imagination. Featuring close-up details of garments and explanations of the technical skill employed and how the pieces were made and including a forward by socialte Daphne Guiness and McQueen's friend Isabella Bow, this is the ultimate celebration of McQueen's extraordinary talent.