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Archive for February, 2010

There’s not much more to say about Alexander McQueen’s recent passing. It seems almost paradoxical that someone so magnanimous, so visionary could leave this world so suddenly. After all, he had an unparalleled gift, one that even in my wildest dreams I couldn’t imagine I’d ever be able to emulate. I will not begin to pontificate on why he did what he did (in fact, it makes me uncomfortable when others theorize about possible reasons; no one knows how he felt except for him; no one ever knows). I am thankful, though, to have experienced the world through his eyes. I desperately long for the many more years of talent he could have given us, but that talent was his to give, not mine to take.

The worlds he created on the runway were heart-stopping and thrilling in every single possible way; there’s this sort of good ache when you watch the shows. The beauty, the ugliness the possibility of art and all that it entails. McQueen breathed life into an industry that prided itself on an often staid aesthetic and an old boys/girls club insularity. His clothes transcended fashion. They were theater, art, life. They disturbed, entertained and inspired in equal measure. He could just as easily create lush and frilly off-the-shoulder dresses as he could amazing amphibian textured body suits. Still, he was, first and foremost, a human being, and his life didn’t belong to anyone but him. Fashion, like literature, like politics, like everything that isn’t one’s mental state, is just not that important in the scheme of things. We’re lucky to have enjoyed the fruits of his creativity for as long as we have. More than anything, I hope he’s found peace.

One of his most moving runway presentations, based on the super-depressing 60s-era movie “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”. The hauntingly tragic beauty of the models, in those gorgeous floral dresses, dancing as though on their last bit of strength. (The movie is about an inhumane, gruelingly long Great Depression-era dance marathon. The contestants nearly kill themselves in order to be the last ones left standing, all for a cash prize, while spectators look on. Those involved were the most desperate of the era.)

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