31 July, 2011

Alexander McQueen

Shortly after Lee Alexander McQueens' death I was photographing this space by Rosenfeld/King Interiors and found an Alexander McQueen purse (Union Jack with skull clasp) and I paused as I held it in my hand. It was with great anticipation that I had the opportunity to see the Alexander McQueen "Savage Beauty" show at the MET last week. What I did not expect was to be as emotionally moved by the show as I was. The clothes are brilliantly displayed and honor Mr. McQueen by their movement and melancholy. It was not the clothes though that struck me, it was his words. Tattooed on Alexander McQueen's right arm are the words "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind". As a lover of prose and poetry, I've always had an intimate affection for the words of Poe, Baudelaire and Cohen. And I'm always trying to weave into some of the slide shows I've produced the words that move me. You can watch one slide show I created last year, click here. Having been raised by a single Mother who worked very hard, I've always admired strong woman and have always chosen women over men as close friends and confidants. Alexander's devotion to his Mother are well known and his deep appreciation for his Scottish heritage was another connection I made that day. I wear a gold ring with the Lion Rampart and thistle on my right ring finger, and some of you may remember my journey to Scotland last March on behalf of my Grandfather. Mr. McQueen was intensely proud of his Scottish heritage and very interested in his ancestry and family genealogy. Mr. McQueen's depth of character, sheer brilliance and understanding of a woman and how to empower women through dress was awe inspiring. More than anything I want to share with you the words that moved me by Mr. McQueen...
"This collection was a shout against English Designers...doing flamboyant Scottish clothes. My Father's family originates from the Isle of Skye, and I'd studied the history of the Scottish upheavals and the Clearances. People were so unintelligent they thought this was about women being raped - yet Highland Rape was about England's rape of Scotland."
Alexander McQueen
"I want to empower women. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress. When you see a woman wearing McQueen, there's a certain hardness to the clothes that makes her look powerful. It kind of fends people off. It's almost like putting armor on a woman. It's a very psychological way of dressing."
Alexander McQueen
"You've got to know the rules to break them. That's what I'm here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition."
Alexander McQueen
After the show, I went to New Jersey to spend the night at my Mothers'. I shared my thoughts and feelings about the show with her and we both studied his astrology, he was a double Pisces, which is why he was so creative. I also shared some of the words that inspired me, this one was my Mother's favorite because she said it displayed his appreciation and understanding of life and death...
"It is important to look at death because it is a part of life. It is a sad thing, melancholic but romantic at the same time. It is the end of a cycle - everything has to end. The cycle of life is positive because it gives room for new things."
Alexander McQueen
The show at the MET has been extended, so if you can try to see it, you will not regret it!
Warm Regards,
Michael J. Lee

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