Alexander McQueen, the world-renowned British fashion designer, was one of the most famous British fashion designers to date. He is said to have placed Britain on the fashion world map. It is for this reason that his life and the death will always hold a special place in the hearts of Britain and the fashion industry.
Alexander was born in Lewisham, London, in March of 1969. He was the youngest of six children and started out making dresses for his older sisters. It was during this time that he expressed his desire to enter the fashion world.
After his education at the Rokeby School, he moved on to an apprenticeship with Anderson & Shepard. He then moved on to work with Gieves & Hawkes, but he didn’t earn his reputation until he took a position as a theatrical costumer with Angels and Bermans.
He quickly climbed to the top of the fashion industry and became known for his shocking and controversial fashion designs. McQueen also made a mark in the runway department, known for his lavish and unconventional style. He even invented the trousers named “bumsters,” which were a part of his “Highland Rape” clothing line.
McQueen’s fashions quickly became must-haves for stars, models, and celebrities of all kinds, including the beautiful Lily Cole and Nicole Kidman, and his fashions have been copied by many other designers all over the globe.
His edgy, rebellious, and unconventional looks even earned him the British Designer of the Year award four times, from 1996 to 2003. To date, he is the youngest designer to ever be presented with this award. He was also named the International Designer of the Year in 2003.
By 2007, McQueen’s boutiques could be found all over the world, including New York, London, Milan, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. More and more stars were seen wearing his edgy fashions, and his popularity continued to grow. His groundbreaking styles, along with his openness about his sexual orientation, won him the admiration of high-profile celebrities such as Lady Gaga.
Sadly, the prominent designer did not cope well with the death of his mother. Just nine days after she passed away from cancer, on February 11, 2010, McQueen hanged himself in his wardrobe. This was just days before Fashion Week. According to a close friend, David LaChapelle, McQueen had been doing a lot of drugs and was said to be “unhappy.” An autopsy revealed that McQueen had overdosed before hanging himself. Blood samples revealed sleeping pills, cocaine, and tranquilizers, all in his system at the time of death.
McQueen’s death will long be remembered as a tragic event in the fashion industry. His death was greatly mourned by all who knew him and his designs. He was even honored and commemorated by Lady Gaga after her acceptance of the Best International Artist award at the 2010 Brit Awards.
While the death of Alexander McQueen was a tragic event, his fashion and his life will triumphantly live on. He will always be remembered for his dramatic, edgy, and theatrical fashions. In the words of McQueen’s fashion house, “Each piece is [as] unique as [he was].”