Luminaries of the fashion world have been paying tribute to one of Britain’s most creative talents who died earlier this month. In the neo-classical setting of Somerset House, a world acclaimed art gallery and this year’s venue for London fashion week, a wall has been erected for people to pin their memories and tributes to the fashion designer and artist.
Alexander Mcqueen is remembered as being the boy from humble beginnings who rose to the top to become one of the most respected designers with his innovative and awe-inspiring collections.
Since his tragic suicide in his Mayfair residence tributes have flooded in from friends and associates in his career spanning two decades from a cutter and pattern maker at London’s ultra conservative Saville Row, through fashion school at Central St. Martins and creative director at Paris fashion house Givenchy.
Fellow art school graduate and close friend John Galiano said; “he was a fashion revolutionary that, like me, made the journey from Saint Martins to Paris where he put his own unique mark on the industry. He will not be forgotten.”
Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld remarked somewhat controversially: “you find in the way he chose to depart his radical side. He chose supreme liberty: suicide.”
The cutting-edge performer Lady Gaga, who collaborated with the designer on her records, composed and dedicated a song to him at the Brit awards celebrating British musical talent. Shortly after his death she tweeted a photo of her and Mcqueen together causing an avalanche of emotional response from followers.
Francois-Henri Pinault, the manager director of the French fashion group PPR, which acquired the Mcqueen brand in 2000, praised his “genius” saying he was one of the greatest creators of his generation. “Visionary and avant-gardiste, his creations are inspired both by tradition and the hyper modernity to be outside of time.”
Meanwhile opening festivities at fashion week, which were preceded by a minute’s silence in Mcqueen’s memory, the Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown said; “I’ve no doubt this will be a creative and inspiring fashion week and a reflective time with the sad passing of Lee [Alexander being his middle name] McQueen.”
She was speaking alongside the Chairman of the British Fashion Council Harold Tilman who commented on McQueen’s extraordinary contribution, saying his transformation from an under-performing schoolboy in Hornchurch to one of the most celebrated designers in the world should be an inspiration to the capital’s fashion students. “[McQueen] proved that this industry and city is one of opportunity, he left school with one O-level and with a good mix of determination, hard work and genius he became and will remain one of London’s leading lights.”
Mcqueen’s Autumn and Winter collection is set to appear at the Paris fashion week on the 9th of March
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