Published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Ma6 4-July 31, 2011.
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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.
"The first definitive biography of the iconic, notoriously private British fashion designer Alexander McQueen explores the connections between his dark work and even darker life. When forty-year-old Alexander McQueen committed suicide in February 2010, a shocked world mourned the loss. McQueen had risen from humble beginnings as the son of an East London taxi driver to scale the heights of fame, fortune, and glamour. He designed clothes for the world's most beautiful women and royalty, most famously the Duchess of Cambridge, who wore a McQueen dress on her wedding day. He created a multimillion-dollar luxury brand that became a favorite with celebrities including Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. But behind the confident facade and bad-boy image, lay a sensitive soul who struggled to survive in the ruthless world of fashion. As the pressures of work intensified, McQueen became increasingly dependent on the drugs that contributed to his tragic end. Meanwhile, in his private life, his failure to find lasting love in a string of boyfriends only added to his despair. And then there were the dark secrets that haunted his sleep... A modern-day fairy tale infused with the darkness of a Greek tragedy, Alexander McQueen tells the complete sensational story, 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, filled with groundbreaking material, dispels myths, corrects inaccuracies, and offers new insights into McQueen's private life and the source of his creative genius"--
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.
Lee Alexander McQueen's last show before his untimely death in 2010, titled "The Horn of Plenty," functioned as a kind of personal survey in which McQueen revisited his 15-year archive of work, revitalizing it through the new collection. He invited photographer Nick Waplington to document the collection from inception to runway. "It is not just a book about a season in a fashion house," says Waplington; "It is also a personal record of Lee's imagination, his version of himself, and a tribute to the many important and lasting relationships he had with all those who worked alongside him." With over 250 photographs, "Working Process" allows readers an intimate glimpse into McQueen's dynamic creative process. This boxed limited edition of 100 copies includes an original signed and numbered print by Waplington, which features McQueen behind the scenes at the fashion shoot, from page 36 of the book.
Alexander McQueen was from the controversy of his early shows to the elegiac perfection of his last British fashion's most significant figure. His stellar career is a story of iconoclasm, ambition and visionary brilliance. Vogue On Alexander McQueen shows how his darkly beautiful designs, immaculate tailoring, slashed material and sculpted outlines realised his ambition: I want to be the purveyor of a certain silhouette or a way of cutting so that, when I'm dead and gone, people will know that the twenty-first century was started by Alexander McQueen.
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.
Judith Watt, a leading fashion historian and close personal friend of her brilliant, tragic subject, offers a close-up backstage look at the life, legacy, and visionary genius of Alexander McQueen. From his East London childhood to his explosive, game-changing fashion career to his shocking suicide at the age of forty, Watt’s Alexander McQueen features revealing commentary and intimate perspectives by those who were closest to the fearless, groundbreaking designer—including milliner Philip Treacy, stylist Katy England, photographer Nick Knight, as well as friends and collectors Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga, and Daphne Guiness—and stunning, photographs, many never before seen, of some of his most remarkable designs and intricate apparel.
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.
His extraordinary career, which took him from humble beginnings as an apprentice on Savile Row to the creative directorship of his own global brand, is a story of hard work, ambition and visionary brilliance. Leading photographers such as Mario Testino and Corinne Day photographed his stunning designs for Vogue, and through them Alexander McQueen's career is presented - from the controversy of his early shows to the elegiac perfection of his last - with a particular emphasis on the evolution of his signature style: immaculate tailoring, slashed fabric, historical references and beauty in the macabre. The book shows that McQueen's own ambition was fully realised: 'I want to be the purveyor of a certain silhouette or a way of cutting so that, when I'm dead and gone, people will know that the Twenty-first Century was started by Alexander McQueen'.
In 1962, Alexander McQueen Quattlebaum first visited the Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland. After surveying the land and finding it a stark contrast to the fertile fields of South Carolina's lowcountry, he understood why, after generations, his forbears had chosen to leave the Scottish isle and cross the Atlantic. However, over the next two decades he made annual visits to Scotland and slowly uncovered the rich history of the MacQueen and Macfarlane families.
London 1996: Alexander McQueen took over the Hawksmoor masterpiece Christ Church in London's East End for what was quite possibly the greatest fashion show on Earth. A candle-lit, cruciform catwalk with a backdrop of stained-glass windows set the tone for an extraordinary collection. Lace sat against chiffon and rubbed shoulders with couture and club-culture clothing and digital print. Dante was the seminal collection that would resonate throughout Alexander McQueen's career. This book features unique photographs shot behind the scenes, with raw, unseen pictures of the designer, models and clothes. The fashion creatives who worked with McQueen to make the show such a success recall this pivotal time in the designer's career and reflect on what made Dante truly groundbreaking. Newly created imagery of clothes shown on the catwalk gives an insight into why this collection was so special.
In Gods and Kings Dana Thomas, author of Deluxe, tells the story of how John Galliano and Alexander McQueen changed the face of fashion In the first decade of the 21st century the fashion world was dominated by two very different but equally successful and turbulent figures. But, within twelve months, Alexander McQueen had committed suicide, and John Galliano had professionally imploded. Who was to blame? And how was fashion changed by their rise and fall? Spanning the 80s, 90s and noughties, Gods and Kings tells the story of these two charismatic figures and times of great change in the world of fashion, from London's raucous art and club scene to the old-world glamour of Parisian couture, and reveals the machinations of this notoriously secretive industry. [Praise for Dana Thomas's Deluxe]: 'A crisp, witty social history that's as entertaining as it is informative' - New York Times 'Definitive' - Daily Telegraph Dana Thomas began her career writing for the Style section of The Washington Post and served as Newsweek's European culture and fashion correspondent for fifteen years. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, WSJ, the Financial Times, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and was the European editor of Condé Nast Portfolio. She is a contributing editor for T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Lustre. She lives in Paris.