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r.i.p., alexander mcqueen.

11 February 2010

{ tribute painting |  d a n n y  r o b e r t s  }

It’s rather unsettling to be here writing this; a part of me harbors this notion that no, it can’t quite possibly be real, that the one and only Alexander McQueen is  d e a d . Suicide was the stipulation for the death of this iconic British designer.

Harsh, isn’t it? Those words. The finality of the words death and dead that we all sought to avoid, and herein we try to appease our souls with less confined descriptions: rest in peace, left the Earth, escaped worldliness, etc. Our minds, with the knowledge of our own fragility, grow scared at every reminder of our mortality. It’s admittedly pathetic, but nonetheless human.

I know I’m perhaps the last to dedicate a tribute of sorts to Alexander McQueen; what exactly do I write about him that could put to justice to the amount of beauty and artistic genius he gave to the world? Alexandra Schulman at Vogue had said, “Lee McQueen influenced a whole generation of designers. His brilliant imagination knew no bounds as he conjured up collection after collection of extraordinary designs.”

It was exactly that – his boundless imagination and lack of inhibition – that brought him to where he was today. I do believe that my reverence for him – and countless others’ admiration for the designer – was for that very quality. Few people possess the ability to do so without recoiling from insecurities or fear of what others would think. On a smaller scale, we shelter a part of ourselves from the brutality of the world, so save our egos and creative bits should our peers scoff at what isn’t in the norm. To be able to forgo any and all insecurities, self- and societal restraints, is a feat to be praised for, especially when displayed for the entire world to see, and ultimately, judge. That, in itself, should be commended.

Thus the news of Alexander McQueen’s suicide is especially devastating for any who have heard of the iconic name; in my mind he (and the likes of Karl Lagerfeld) were near immortal: physically as the last man standing, and intangibly as in their influence upon the exclusive fashion world. Yet at the same time it was strangely forsee-able. I obviously have no personal connections to the man, but in seeing his designs, brash and impulsive (writing “I am a c*nt into the sleeve of Prince Charles’ suit!), there was an undercurrent of pessimism in his romantically, arch-romantic collections – elements that perhaps reflected his inner self. His collections were always beautiful in a nonconventional fashion, yet dark.

Choosing the perfect image to accompany my tribute post to Alexander McQueen stopped upon seeing Danny Robert’s painting. The colors, the brushstrokes, even the face itself reminded me of Van Gogh: the same pessimism – that incomprehensible, otherworldly sadness – and creative ingeniousness captured brilliantly in Robert’s tribute represented the essence this news, and the emotions, almost all too perfectly. The contemplativeness of the eyes that led to the mind.

We all cringe at the headlines everywhere: ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, AGE 40 DEAD. Bolded, in the rather unfeeling Times New Roman font – all the more imprinting the finality of his leave. It’s a funny thing, how we think death means the end of all good that came from that being, when in fact, it only immortalizes him.

His soul, his influence, his impact – that, mes chéries, lives on.


La C.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. 11 February 2010 11:18 pm

    reading the uk’s dailymail article on the subject really devastated me too. it’s true, his designs aren’t my style at all, but his work and creativity is beyond amazing. it definitely feels like a piece of the fashion’s heart has been broken off, and all of us who can relate to this world all felt it.

  2. 11 February 2010 11:42 pm

    It’s really hard to believe… RIP.

  3. 11 February 2010 11:53 pm

    He was such an incredible visionary. His work set the bar for other designers – always innovative, exciting, and eye-catching. It’s horrific that he felt so alone and desperate that suicide seemed like the only option. May he rest in he peace.

  4. 12 February 2010 3:25 am

    It´s so sad, I can´t believe it´s true….

  5. 12 February 2010 6:20 am

    Wonderfully put darling, his impact truly will live on forever.


  6. 12 February 2010 6:28 am

    beautiful post. r.i.p mcqueen…

  7. ladylixa permalink
    12 February 2010 7:58 am

    so very sad. the painting is beautiful.

  8. 13 February 2010 4:47 am

    this is one of the best r.i.p i’ve read today!!! thank you for the wonderful and thoughtful words, xx

  9. 13 February 2010 10:54 am

    I can’t write anything about it, everything looks dull and void, it’s…. oh well I don’t even know.
    I think I need YEARS to forgot this shock !

  10. 13 February 2010 9:32 pm

    seriously still cannot believe this has happened.
    sidenote… danny did such a lovely job on this.

  11. 14 February 2010 7:22 am

    R.I.P. Sir Lee Alexander McQueen

    I can’t still believe this. 😦

    P.S.: ♥Please don’t forget to join the Howbeadyful giveaway!♥

    Good luck!

    by the way: this painting is stunning, Honey!

  12. 14 February 2010 4:16 pm

    I love them over at Igor and Andre. Such a gorgeous tribute! 🙂

  13. 15 February 2010 3:59 pm

    I’m still having so much trouble believing it’s real, it feels like a dream. Well, I really loved this post of yours–my McQueen handbag tribute is set for tomorow…and saving pennies as I type to begin collecting a few of his pieces.

    xo Mary Jo


  1. maintenant | no. 006 « la couturier
  2. alexander mcqueen: the legacy | a bit coquettish

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