Born on 17th of March 1969
Died in Mayfair, London
Died on 11th of February 2010
British hero of the week March 2nd 2010
Alexander McQueen’s sexuality was one of the few things about him that was conventional in the world of fashion that he regularly surprised.
He was brought up in a tower block in Stratford , survived in a working class environment and school, and rather than following the usual route into design he became a skilled tailor in Savile Row , including a spell at Gieves & Hawkes . Those skills served him well in his subsequent career, after belated studies at St Martins . But his designs were not just beautifully tailored, they were often filled with the humour and quirkiness that became one of his trademarks – it is no wonder that Lady Gaga and Björk became great fans of his clothes. That humour and desire to challenge was not mere whimsy, sometimes having a cutting edge touching on social or even political comment: his story about stitching an obscene comment into a jacket made for Prince Charles ; disabled model Aimee Mullins having her disability highlighted with beautifully carved wooden legs, challenging our ideas; Indian models brought to London; and catwalk shows that made pawns from people.
McQueen was not diplomatic, but his talent enabled him to build a fashion empire with outlets spread across the world. He was keen on exploring new spheres in his professional life – working with Puma on trainers, and with MAC on make-up; and in his personal life, where one of his great loves was scuba diving. His death on February 11 2010, aged just 40, was a sad blow to a fashion world which can ill afford to lose real innovators.
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