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Friday, February 12, 2010
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN - Our Tribute
Text, Vivian G. Kelly VanZutphen
By now, you've all doubtless heard that British designer, Alexander McQueen, was found dead yesterday in his home in London. I'm at NY Fashion Week and the news hit the fashion community harder than the snowstorm we got pummeled with the night before.
PLEASE, take the time to read a few articles on him, starting with the pieces that ran today, Friday, Feb. 12th, on WWD.com.
This is just the first in what is sure to be an avalanche of articles on the man who was dubbed, " the London-born 'enfant terrible' fashion designer".
Years ago, in the mid-nineties, while at Michael Kors, I was across the street at the Onward Kashiyama offices and the buzz there was electric. Why? Because "Lee" was in the offices. Back then, I was shyer than I am today and didn't summon-up the gumption to ask PR, Pierre Rougier, for an introduction. I'm not the star-struck type, and as Grace Coddington said in "The September Issue" don't really care for celebrities. In my book, McQueen was a raw talent, a diamond in the rough, and I desperately wanted to meet someone who had this quality.
McQueen was different - even back then, relatively early in his career, this was a man who had "it". By it, I mean RARE UNDILUTED TALENT. He was a real artist, he didn't "just" make clothes and turn a nice profit at Neiman's.
McQueen was that rare animal - a creative and commercial success.
Today, I have two regrets when I think of him:
1. That I didn't ask Pierre for an intro. I did however, spot him in the hall from only a yard or so away.
2. That we will no longer be able to delight and be inspired by the collections he will never produce.
The cause of his death and the speculation that surrounds it is unimportant. The REAL question is this:
NOW THAT MCQUEEN IS GONE, SHOULD GUCCI CLOSE THE HOUSE DOWN OR SHOULD THEY LOOK FOR SOMEONE TO TRY TO CONTINUE-ON?
We're of the mind that once the original creative genius is gone, it's time to close the doors forever,as unfortunately, Blass, Halston and Pucci failed to do. Maybe, if we're lucky, years from now, someone else will be able to step-in, as Karl Lagerfeld so famously did at Chanel, and breathe life back into the house of McQueen. For now, it's too soon.