Alexander McQueen: A Tabulous Tastemaker

March 17, 2016

By Tab Byrum

Today we are remembering and celebrating the life of an amazing fashion designer, Lee Alexander McQueen. Alexander McQueen was born on this day in 1969 and died in February of 2010, he was born and raised in London to Scottish parents and had three sisters for whom he designed and created dresses starting at a very young age.

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McQueen left school at 16 and began apprenticeships first on Saville Row as a tailor and eventually ending up at Angels and Bermans, a theatrical costumer, where he gained a reputation for creating extremely tailored looks thanks to his time as a Saville Row apprentice. Eventually,  McQueen returned to school and received his Masters in Fashion Design in 1992, he began designing clothes for the likes of David Bowie, and it was during this time that he gained a reputation for edgy fashion and his fashion shows were known to be shocking. In 1996, McQueen became head designer at Givenchy and during his time at the French fashion house, he continued to shock with the clothes he designed and the shows he put on and to this day he’s remembered as a very rebellious and artistic designer.

McQueen entered the 21st century with his own design house, he was named British Designer of the Year four times and CFDA’s International Designer of the Year in 2003. By 2007, McQueen had boutiques throughout Europe and the United States and was dressing the most well-known celebrities. Lee Alexander McQueen’s death was announced on February 11, 2010, just 9 days after his mother died after battling cancer, his death was ruled a suicide by hanging, he was 40 years old. 

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This dress and the one below were both featured in the 2011 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s show “Savage Beauty” on Alexander McQueen. 

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This shoe was part of McQueen’s final season in Fall 2010. ( via )

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This feather creation was most recently on display at a special McQueen exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. ( via )

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This is from Alexander McQueen’s Pre-Fall look in 2009. ( via )

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In addition to feathers, McQueen was also fond of lace and the unusual use of items such as antlers. ( via )

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One thing McQueen was known for is accenting his designs with his Scottish heritage, as seen here in a tartan gown. ( via )

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McQueen’s shoe designs have garnered almost as much attention as his clothing designs. ( via )

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His wedding gowns have long been show stoppers, this gown is from Autumn/Winter 2006.  ( via )

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Kate Middleton embraced the House of McQueen in 2011 as her go to British design house, here she is in a McQueen creation for the dinner given the evening of her wedding day. ( via )

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She also wore a McQueen creation for the Order of the Garter ceremony here in 2012. ( via

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Kate wore this McQueen Cable knit ensemble in 2011 for the royal tour of Canada. ( via )

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