One of the most influential designers this country had ever produced is Alexander McQueen. McQueen came from some distinctly humble origins as one of six children living in a small terraced house the son of a teacher of social sciences and a taxi driver. It is hard to see how the man could have grown to be such an incredible talent coming as he did from the slightly uninspiring streets of Lewisham. But let us not judge him. This is a man that could do anything from something as simple as Farah Shirts like the ones available at ejmenswear to the high couture of Givenchy and his own labels. What is his story?
McQueen attended a local comprehensive leaving with just on O level to his name. This is was in Art and it was to serve him well and he took up several apprentices in tailoring from the best in Saville Row. This practical experience helped to build him an impressive portfolio of work. He was the epitome someone working there way up in and industry that works on style and talent rather than what’s on your CV. However, a place at the prestigious St Martins College was to call the young McQueen to study a degree and is complete end of course was spotted and bought by the very influential Isabella Blow.
Blow was to be the best thing to ever happy to McQueen. She was able to guide and inspire him plus get him the contacts that his work needed to expand further. This gave him access to a world that he probably never dreamed of. Suddenly he was being asked to work with some cultural greats. David Bowie, always a ready to spot some new talent and also a kindred spirit used his clothes for a tour and following on from that he was sought out by Bjork to design her a dress for shows and videos.
This certainly emboldened him and his collections became known for their controversy and sheer exuberant style. He was never afraid to push boundaries or make statements with his clothes and he also honoured the Scottish roots that his mother had. He was also openly, and celebratory homosexual knowing from an early age that this was the case.
He moved to Givenchy and immediately began attacking how it was run. His first collection was poor a fact he admitted himself, but he soon turned this around producing some of the best work in the turbulent end of the 1990s. Come the Millennium and McQueen turned his attention to his own company and had a series fo incredible shows. Following the suicide of Isabella Blow and the death of his Mother, McQueen became depressed and despite all of his talent and accomplishments he decide to end his life at the age of 40 in 2010.