It was five years ago, this fashion week eve, that the fashion universe stopped mid tilt on its axis and ceased from spinning for a few minutes. Lee Alexander McQueen, mister boy wonder turned creative genius, died by way of suicide and the world of fashion grew a little more darker. We miss him, the fashion industry misses him deeply and there has yet to be one proven to fill the void of McQueen’s out-of-this-world creations. Certainly any artist can attest to the dark side of creating…the unstable moments, the isolation phases, and the loneliness. And while these muses often are responsible for giving birth to greatness and mass appeal, they can be downright detrimental if not periodically checked and balanced. No one knows the real reason(s) why McQueen, a bright beacon in the fashion community, decided to end his life. Rampant speculations followed the days after his death; some say losing his longtime friend/confident Isabella Blow and the support of his mother who passed away just days after Blow is what drove his decision to book an earlier appointment to meet his maker.
We miss you, Mr. McQueen. Your brash ego, eccentric behavior, your dark interpretations of fashion. We miss the electric atmosphere of the unexpected expectation you created with each of your collections. We miss the way you created purely and passionately. We miss the effortless way you would marry opposing ideologies; luminous & obscure, structured & disheveled or confined & unrestricted. You weren’t just a fashion designer; you were a designer of hope and like the Sex Pistols who ushered in the punk movement, you knew exactly what the industry needed to wake it from its lofty snooze fest.
The loss of McQueen has been tremendous and sad, leaving fashion with a gaping hole in its heart. But we are grateful for the years he lived, the lives he touched and the collections he designed. May his spirit of just the correct dose of controversy injected on the runway live on. May his legacy continue to thrive, and as Sarah Burton strives to maintain his original aesthetic, inspire another young man with big dreams of fashion design.