Influential Designers: Alexander McQueen

15 Jan

January 15th, 2015

Every 15th of the month, I will feature a designer that I find fascinating and influential.  I may end up going back later and editing some of the posts (especially in the “Why Influential” section because sometimes I just can’t really put into words why someone is just awesome <3)




March 17th, 1969 – February 11th, 2010


(Pulled, in part, from

Alexander McQueen was born in London, March 17th. 1969 – he was the youngest of six children.  At age 16, he left school and was offered an apprenticeship at the traditional Savile Row tailors Anderson and Shephard, and then at neighbouring Gieves and Hawkes – both of which were masters in the technical construction of clothing.

After his apprenticeship, he mastered 6 methods of pattern cutting from theatrical costumiers Angels and Bermans, ranging from the melodramatic 16th Century to the razor sharp tailoring which has become a McQueen signature.  At the age of 20, he was employed by designer Koji Tatsuno, another who had roots in British tailoring.  A year later, McQueen travelled to Milan where he was employed as Romeo Gigli’s design assistant.  On his return to London, he was completed a Masters degree in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martin’s.  He showed his MA collection in 1992, which was famously bought in its entirety by Isabella Blow.

Alexander McQueen shows are known for their emotional power and raw energy, as well as the romantic, but determinedly contemporary nature of the collections.  Integral to the McQueen culture is the juxtaposition between contrasting elements: fragility and strength, tradition and modernity, fluidity and severity.  An openly emotional and even passionate viewpoint is realized with a profound respect and influence for the arts and crafts tradition.  Alexander’s collections combine an in-depth working knowledge of the bespoke British tailoring, the fine workmanship of the French Haute Couture atelier, and the impeccable finish of Italian manufacturing,


I can’t say when I actually started to follow some of McQueen’s work.  I know it was before I started Mount Mary in 2011 because I was proud to know at least one designer.  (Yes…I was a design student who didn’t really know much about design.  I went in with the purpose of pattern making due to love of Cosplay…but I digress).  All I know is that I was drawn into his beautiful work.

I think it was the allure of pushing boundaries, and such interesting pieces that adorned the models.  It wasn’t just the garments, but it was the headdresses, the shoes, the over-the-top feel for some of his collections.  I feel a lot of his collections I feel most closely with are the dark, mysterious ones – the ones where he creates these images of beautiful, almost macabre pieces.  They aren’t always of a dark color, but even the light colored ones have this strange quality to them.



*It gets buggy if I try to include a caption, so “McQueen Fall/Winter 2014/15”  Taken from:

McQueen Spring/Summer 2011

Fall 2009….Not going to lie, I’m not entirely sure if I like this one or not (Clothing is fun but…not sold on the faces D: )

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Posted by on January 15, 2015 in Influential Designers


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