McQueen is dead. Long live McQueen.
February 11, 2010 7:40 AM   Subscribe

Alexander McQueen has died at the age of 40. He will be remembered for his beautiful and haunting style (and his gravity-defying hoof shoes). Friend to Isabella Blow, Philip Treacy, and many more; inspiration to countless. He will be missed.
posted by fiercecupcake (93 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
OMG...

.
posted by Dragonness at 7:42 AM on February 11, 2010


If you want me, I'll be listening to "Dance in the Dark" on repeat.

.
posted by greekphilosophy at 7:44 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by ColdChef at 7:47 AM on February 11, 2010


Holy shit.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:47 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:48 AM on February 11, 2010


Thanks, I was hoping someone would post this. This is tragic, and right before fashion week, too (he was supposed to present in Paris in a few weeks).

For McQueen at his best, I'd recommend looking at his Spring 08 collection, dedicated to the then-recently-deceased Isabella Blow. Transcendent.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:49 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just saw this on Jezebel.

It looks like the Daily Fail is reporting that it was suicide, but I can't find any corroborating sources.

.
posted by muddgirl at 7:50 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:50 AM on February 11, 2010


Wow. That's really depressing...
posted by vacapinta at 7:52 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:52 AM on February 11, 2010


Wow. I never really followed fashion that closely, but McQueen's designs were art.

.
posted by katillathehun at 7:53 AM on February 11, 2010


This was my favorite McQueen show. What a vision.
posted by hermitosis at 7:55 AM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm a chubby thirty-two year old woman whose wardrobe is basically five versions of the exact same outfit and a few different necklaces. 99% percent of "fashion" is ugly and meaningless to me - but I loved Alexander McQueen. Just recently I spent hours googling images of his old collections.

This is terribly, terribly sad.
posted by Wroksie at 7:56 AM on February 11, 2010 [11 favorites]


BBC were reporting suspected suicide about 10mins after the news broke.
posted by fire&wings at 7:58 AM on February 11, 2010


Oh and,

.
posted by fire&wings at 7:58 AM on February 11, 2010


Oh.
Oh, no.

.
posted by Monsters at 8:03 AM on February 11, 2010


I know nothing about fashion but I know those shoes.

This is sad.

.
posted by mazola at 8:05 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by Webbster at 8:07 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by polexa at 8:07 AM on February 11, 2010


......✄...........
posted by gomichild at 8:10 AM on February 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


Oh, my god.

.
posted by Madamina at 8:12 AM on February 11, 2010


Fuck. Hate this, so, so much.
posted by peachfuzz at 8:12 AM on February 11, 2010


How awful and unexpected.
posted by kathrineg at 8:14 AM on February 11, 2010


The man's prints could make me cry, but all I could afford was a scarf.

Now I'll cherish it even more.

.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 8:15 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh dear.
posted by The Whelk at 8:23 AM on February 11, 2010


He really bridged fashion-as-art and meticulous tailoring in a way few designers could match. As far as long-ranging influence I am not sure there is an equal in his generation--you see McQueenisms trickle into mainstream fashion years after he showed them on the runway. This is just a devastating loss of creativity.
posted by padraigin at 8:23 AM on February 11, 2010


Dammit dammit shit.

.
posted by rtha at 8:25 AM on February 11, 2010


The promotional image for the spring 2010 collection

Part one
Part two

Part three

Finale
posted by louche mustachio at 8:28 AM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is horrible. What an incredible mind and talent.
posted by spec80 at 8:29 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by generalist at 8:30 AM on February 11, 2010


What a waste of incredible vision and talent.

This is my favorite thing he did.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 8:35 AM on February 11, 2010 [9 favorites]


I was always undone by the way he did textiles. Beneath all of the showmanship and artfulness there he always had perfect pitch for texture and color.

Oh, and the silhouettes! They're rarely ugly and never boring. I found myself looking through his collections after I heard the news today and mentally planning out my wardrobe for the rest of the year. I learned to design and sew because I would never be able to afford clothes like these, but I want them anyway. Being able to have something that is even a ghost of what McQueen can put together is worth the hours of cutting, squinting and stitching.

Fashion Weeks are going to be less exciting from now on.
posted by Alison at 8:45 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


people need to stop fucking dying.
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 AM on February 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


.

I always said my dream was to get married in an enormous tartan ballgown by Alexander McQueen.
posted by kkokkodalk at 8:50 AM on February 11, 2010


hell yeah Juicy Avenger

and

.
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:50 AM on February 11, 2010


His last show was magnificent. How could he take his life and deprive us all of his vision! Damn, I am angry with him. Too soon! Too soon, McQueen.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:51 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


GodDAMMIT.

.
posted by bakerina at 8:52 AM on February 11, 2010


According to The Moment, there are rumors that his show in Paris on March 9 is still going to happen.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:55 AM on February 11, 2010


Really wish life had some kind of

ARE YOU SURE YOU WISH TO COMMIT SUICIDE?
THERE IS NO UNDO.

[ CANCEL ]

To continue, type the entire text of Remembrance of Things Past with no spelling errors and no backspaces into this field:

[ ****** ]



.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:56 AM on February 11, 2010 [11 favorites]


"disturbing final tweets"
posted by Joe Beese at 8:57 AM on February 11, 2010


:-(

Poor man. I've lost my mother, and I lost a friend who hung himself. How very very sad and painful.

My mother said something about my friend's suicide that was very wise. She pointed out that suicide was a crime of opportunity, and often people who aren't successful go on to lead quite happy lives (and later evidence only bears her out). Instead of thinking of suicide as some sort of well-thought-out systematic repudiation of life and the world, think of it as similar to an accident, an impulsive gesture by someone who is sad and confused.

.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:09 AM on February 11, 2010 [22 favorites]


Fuck suicide.
posted by Space Kitty at 9:10 AM on February 11, 2010


Oh, shit. This is such a bummer.
posted by heyho at 9:14 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 9:15 AM on February 11, 2010


And also, of course

.

What a loss.
posted by Space Kitty at 9:16 AM on February 11, 2010


Oh no, no, no! He was my favorite designer. Such a visionary and an impeccable perfectionist when it came to his creations. Go back and look at the silhouettes he created and the detailing on his garments during past shows and prepare to be stunned.
posted by lysistrata at 9:22 AM on February 11, 2010


Whoa. I just watched a documentary last night about Saville Row tailors and his name was brought up. Afterward I Googled his name and spent a fair amount of time looking at his work and being surprised that I've seen his work before but didn't know anything about the man behind it. Now this.
posted by cazoo at 9:33 AM on February 11, 2010


Wow. An innovator has passed. I know they all have to go eventually and the lifestyle choices of the creative tends to mean a shorter life span, but it's still shocking when it happens for some reason.

Farewell, Mr. McQueen! Your influence will assuredly live on.

.
posted by batmonkey at 9:40 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by of strange foe at 9:41 AM on February 11, 2010


oh. whoa. how did i miss that essential bit about suicide?!? i clicked through the reminisces first, and was lost in the haze..."lifestyle choices", indeed.

strength to those he left behind.
posted by batmonkey at 9:42 AM on February 11, 2010


completely shocking. what a waste.
.
posted by kimdog at 9:46 AM on February 11, 2010


.





(FUCK)
posted by Theta States at 9:53 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by desuetude at 9:53 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by basthrohmnse at 9:56 AM on February 11, 2010


Shocking and sad. He will be greatly missed.

.
posted by mogget at 9:58 AM on February 11, 2010


I was so disappointed to hear this. I always looked forward to his collections. I always found his devotion to Isabella Blow touching. He will be missed.
posted by msali at 10:02 AM on February 11, 2010


Agggh! What a vision!

.
posted by cavalier at 10:04 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by sperose at 10:04 AM on February 11, 2010


I don't usually cry over celeb deaths but when I heard i burst into tears. I may not have liked many of his designs, but his ideas and personality brought so much to the world of fashion. LFW is in a week, I hope his show goes on.

.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:09 AM on February 11, 2010


Damn it damn it damn it all to hell! My favorite designer, hands down. No one else knew knits AND tailoring like McQueen.

.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:13 AM on February 11, 2010


My mother said something about my friend's suicide that was very wise. She pointed out that suicide was a crime of opportunity, and often people who aren't successful go on to lead quite happy lives (and later evidence only bears her out). Instead of thinking of suicide as some sort of well-thought-out systematic repudiation of life and the world, think of it as similar to an accident, an impulsive gesture by someone who is sad and confused.

I think that your mother is incredibly wise, I agree completely.

I'm not into fashion particularly, I appreciate it though. McQueen was obviously an incredibly talented artist. Life can be brutal, stay up friends.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:15 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by transporter accident amy at 10:15 AM on February 11, 2010


That man could really rock a kilt. What a tragic loss.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:21 AM on February 11, 2010


Indescribably sad and tragic. Both his men's and women's designs were beautifully crafted and visually stunning. No one could cut a pair of men's pants like McQueen. I also wear his perfume (My Queen) pretty much every day. Rest in peace fabulous friend.
posted by Go Banana at 10:35 AM on February 11, 2010


.

McQueen was a genuine design genius. A real intelligent and orginal point of view.
posted by helmutdog at 10:35 AM on February 11, 2010


Those final tweets are really upsetting.

.
posted by queensissy at 10:37 AM on February 11, 2010


i cried. this is terribly, terribly upsetting. not just one of my favourite designers- one of my favourite ARTISTS and creative minds. such a terrible, terrible, terrible waste. such a waste.
posted by raw sugar at 11:03 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


.
posted by fook at 11:04 AM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:20 AM on February 11, 2010


The world needed his joie de vivre and outrageous mischief. He was the catwalk's meow.

Details of his 2010 collection, on the high end. And last year's recession specials on the Target end.

"The 40-year-old committed suicide just days after the death of his mother, Joyce...It is believed he hanged himself."

"Born in the East End and the son of a taxi driver...Openly gay, McQueen once described himself as the 'pink sheep of the family'."

On his site.

Even his last Tweet was poetically askew, "Hell's angles and prolific deamons."

The world is more delightfully colorful and fun that he lived. My condolences to his beloved and friends.
posted by nickyskye at 11:33 AM on February 11, 2010


The 40-year-old committed suicide just days after the death of his mother

This made me think of Conan The Barbarian creator Robert E. Howard.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 11:45 AM on February 11, 2010


This is horrible news. I don't know from fashion at all but seeing his work always made me *think* in unexpected ways. I always thought I would be able to look at his extraordinary work forever.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:46 AM on February 11, 2010


(In case people are confused by the timeline of his collections: the Spring 2010 show that included the Lady Gaga claw shoes was shown last September and pieces from that collection will be all over red carpets this spring. McQueen was going to show his Fall 2010 collection in Paris at the beginning of March; they just canceled that show. As far as I know, no one outside the company has seen it.)
posted by oinopaponton at 12:25 PM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:45 PM on February 11, 2010


(September October)
posted by oinopaponton at 12:49 PM on February 11, 2010


What awful news! He was a great artist at the top of his game. His interviews were often amazing. When I have more time I think I'll go search for some of his old interviews and look at old collections.

This is terribly sad.
posted by Kattullus at 1:23 PM on February 11, 2010


.



(DAMMIT)
posted by supercrayon at 3:18 PM on February 11, 2010


I spent the day backstage both at Bryant Park and at another show which took place downtown. The news of his death shocked and upset just about everyone. He was brilliant, creative and one-of-a-kind. What an awful, terrible loss. :(

muddgirl, it looks as if he did indeed commit suicide.

Both salon.com and the nytimes have lengthy obituaries.

.
posted by zarq at 3:22 PM on February 11, 2010


zarq - was your NYT link edited? Because I don't see any definitive mention of cause-of-death.

I'm not saying he didn't commit suicide - I just think it's incredibly tasteless for the Daily Fail to speculate and for others to pick it up before his friends and family have had a chance to learn the official cause of death...
posted by muddgirl at 3:40 PM on February 11, 2010


That's really weird. I am nearly positive it referred to his death as an apparent suicide (like this NPR piece) when I linked to it. I don't know if I'm imagining that or if the piece was edited.

FWIW, I'm pretty exhausted. So it's perfectly possible the first paragraph hasn't been edited.
posted by zarq at 4:25 PM on February 11, 2010


I also realize "apparent" suicide isn't definitive, as you say. The Times would wait for an official cause of death before stating it as fact.
posted by zarq at 4:27 PM on February 11, 2010


The Popbitch newsletter reprinted a very strange piece of gossip about him from 2003.

RIP: Alexander McQueen. We'll keep thinking of him in
happier times. Like when he got the job at Givenchy.
When meeting the starchy Parisian studio staff for the
first time, he got his cock out, peed on the cutting
table, and said "See the future!"
posted by w0mbat at 4:37 PM on February 11, 2010


Cutting edge
above eyelashes
lungs by Audrey Ang
at the cross left
fringed liver by
Alexander McQueen
posted by bwg at 4:40 PM on February 11, 2010


Alexander McQueen actually made some high-fashion things I couldn't help but like; those hoof shoes are a great example. How sad...
posted by Nattie at 5:34 PM on February 11, 2010


This is now the nth year of creative gay males dying “unexpectedly.” Sometimes we know they kill themselves; sometimes, as with Brad Graham, one can reasonably wonder. I keep tabs of other examples, including an almost literal decimation of the roster of out gay graphic designers.

I would like to retain a degree of decorum here, but what the fuck exactly is going on? Who is next?
posted by joeclark at 6:02 PM on February 11, 2010


Life isn't a bad thriller. No one is next.
posted by The Whelk at 6:08 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a tad overwrought (and nonetheless sincere), but McQueen was one of the people who made the world a better place for me. When I was going through an extremely rough time as a teenager, I used to get online and look at all the couture collections. Seeing all the outlandish beauty in them was a bit of a combination distraction/release valve for me - sort of a reminder that there was a much larger world, I wasn't necessarily stuck in my nasty little life.

And years later, I was trying one day to explain to my husband how fashion could be art, the difference between ready-to-wear collections and couture and how you could have an emotional attachment to a fashion collection. He was being polite, but clearly had a smidgeon of 'Well, it's just dresses, right? What's the big deal?' in the back of his mind.

So I showed him one of the McQueen collections linked above, and this astounding show by Galliano for Dior*. And suddenly he got it.

Husband and I still sit together each year and look at all the couture work, discuss how on earth they got the fabric to drape just so, how much skill you'd need to have to create that origami suit, etc. It's nice, having a little niche thing to bond over. I owe you a beer somehow, McQueen.

*Seriously - if you're not really into fashion, but have enjoyed some of the links in this thread, go look at all the Galliano and Dior (for whom he designs) collections on the style.com website. It's pretty stunning.
(The couture collections are your best bet for 'whoa!' designs - they are the 'wearable art' ones, as opposed to the ready-to-wear/resort/etc collections, which are necessarily a little more tame.)

posted by pseudonymph at 7:32 PM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


How sad.

.
posted by bjgeiger at 8:34 PM on February 11, 2010


.
posted by ghostbee at 9:25 PM on February 11, 2010


During a newspaper interview conducted by his mother, McQueen was asked what was his most terrifying fear. He replied: “Dying before you.”
...
During the newspaper interview when McQueen revealed his fear of dying before his mother, she had asked him: “What makes you proud?”

“You,” he replied. “Why?” she queried. “No, ask the next one,” said McQueen. It was the only question he refused to answer.


From today's Times article
posted by vacapinta at 2:04 AM on February 12, 2010


I had heard of Alexander McQueen but wouldn't have recognized his work. A friend of mine sent me a couple of photo galleries. Incredible stuff.

.
posted by grouse at 10:16 AM on February 12, 2010


.
posted by kitarra at 4:17 PM on February 12, 2010


McQueen's last collection showed in Paris. It's really, really good.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:08 AM on March 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


« Older Twenty years ago, on this day, Nelson Mandela, wal...  |  Kyokushin karate champion, mas... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments