I just don’t know what to say about Alexander McQueen, the 40 year-old British designer who took his own life this week.
I never knew him.
None of my friends knew him. I never saw him at a party or knew someone who knew someone who had a one night stand with someone who’d interviewed him. I don’t have any amusing or bittersweet personal anecdotes.
When I started digging my heels into fashion in my early 20’s, McQueen and Galliano quickly became my two favorite designers. I love Galliano for his camp sophistication, but McQueen’s harder edge spoke to me more than any other. I loved the theatricality of his shows, the brutality and the cynicism, the wit and the beauty and the pure genius.
Ah, the G word.
Two years ago I wrote:
“There are two types of people in the world: those who think that quirky British designer Alexander McQueen is an absolute genius and should — as part of a quartet including Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, Nicholas Ghesquiere at Balenciaga and the funky little fashion troll himself, John Galliano– spend the rest of his life designing clothes for me and the lucky few whom I deem worthy, and people who are just plain wrong”
I don’t use the word genius often because I don’t think it applies to many designers, but McQueen was. He could do experimental, he could do commercial and his cutting and draping were legendary. We have lost a great talent. So young, so much potential. Imagining what effect he would’ve had on the world if he’d have the longevity of Yves Saint Laurent or Valentino is just heartbreaking.
His death is a shame and a waste.
Simply put, the world is a less beautiful place without him in it.
It would be a less beautiful place without you, too.
If you struggle with depression or suicidal thoughts, please seek help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Finally, if there’s someone in your life you’re worried about but are afraid to say anything because it’s Not Your Place, talk to them. Just suck it up and do it. It’s an act of love, and although none of us can guarantee a specific outcome, you owe it to your friends.