In search of Alexander McQueen in 2014
By Jim Yuan Zhou
What is fashion? I’ve been wondering about this question for a while. Before I saw McQueen’s few runway shows on youtube and read his life story, I’d never really given much thought as to this question. Because after all, for a very simply reason, people dress for attentions so to speak, to be desirable. Apart from its ability to bring us some nice dates, and get all the looks while walking around new york city, fashion is a concept that we would never have thought much, every year, we see it is constantly evolving and changing, some styles come and go, nothing seems really last. I could not help but wonder: who would my lead on fashion in 2014? Marc Jacobs or Alexander Wang?
Although it is a quite a straightforward question, it seems too difficult to answer it. It is also worth thinking about why do we have to wear clothes at all. “Timeless” is the choice of word in the fashion world. But timeless is not enough, just like love is not enough either in relationships, to stand the test of time, something contemplative, something beyond love and death must not miss. For that, I could not help but thinking Lee Alexander McQueen.
A designer who knows what he wants. Born and raised in a poor family in London, and the son of a taxi driver, he is the master in tailoring, every single garment he designed has its own place in space, and every detail is exquisite. Call him furious or pride, but there is no doubt that his creativity shed light on every runway shows. I wonder if I will ever see an umbrella hat or Castle shoulder-piece again! His work is so dark and macabre, and he was obsessed with death. Nevertheless all of his designs are truly works of art.
But McQueen is also a revolutionist and culturist. From writers to politicians, people who are obsessed with history are ultimately concerned with politics and culture, religion. From the highland rape to VOSS, watching it as if you were reading Dante’s inferno or Japanese culture. The theme of his runway shows gives us a good basic sense of what is being presented: women, conscience, death and redemption. Deep down, one can feel there is something completely suppressed in his design, and he wants to release this dark force. In this way, fashion transcends the idea of design or style, and becomes art itself.
The idea of individuality and artistic design is well reflected in McQueen’s 2014 new collection – the McQueen x Hirst collaboration. British artist, Damien Hirst takes various of creatures, including spiders, butterflies, to form kaleidoscopic imagery to explore different forms of skull. The use of skull, in this new collection certainly reminds us of McQueen’s famous skull scarf. But more importantly, each design comes with re-injection of McQueen’s spirit and artistic nature. Ultimately, it is not about label, but about art. McQueen’s mark on the history of the fashion industry is a permanent one and the beauty is celestial. It is almost another year, while you are busy developing your New Year wardrobe, you are wearing McQueen, and you approach to your closet with highest respect, so having fun dressing up and creating your very own art!