Lee Alexander McQueen 1969-2010

This is a post I didn’t ever want to write.

Lee Alexander McQueen left us today, taking his own life at the age of 40.

Artist Danny Roberts’ tribute to Mr. McQueen today.

I first heard about it this morning within minutes of the announcement,  on the constant ticker tape that is Twitter, the currency of which is information – happy, sad, mad information.

Immediately my breath was suspended. This couldn’t possibly be true. It’s a hoax, I thought then.

Click, click, search. Frantic search.

It originated from a Daily Mail UK story. No other sources at that moment.

Had to be untrue. Had to be a Fashion Week antic by a crazy person.

@McQueenWorld was missing. AlexanderMcQueen.com pointed to a sombre black page with an update to come.

Then the ticker tape slowly revealed it in 140 leaded characters at a time. Huffington Post, then the Associated Press…and then, the BBC’s confirmation came.

My heart sank…not our darling Lee.

All day, I have been watching the flurry of messages. All day none of it has made sense. How could such a brilliant man at the pinnacle of his success take his own life?

I remember reading through his recent tweets a few days ago. He had lost his mother, Joyce, very recently. She was his most ardent supporter, sitting front row for every show, as has been widely reported. It seems to be a loss that he couldn’t withstand. He would have been attending her funeral tomorrow.

McQueen with his mum, Joyce.

And now, we are here, suspended in the chaos of this loss.

He touched me and thousands of others because he was the screaming, fuck you, voice of our generation. He was our Dali, our Pollock. He was our Dylan, our Strummer.

He inspired us with his defiance, his brilliance, his articulation of the fantastical and the historical all at once. His authenticity shone through in each and every article he designed.

Lee McQueen is the reason I started writing about fashion. Lee McQueen is one of the most compelling reasons that I love fashion. His creations are a key part of my visual vocabulary, of my personal environmental culture.

I didn’t know him personally, but we were connected through these references – and through them we became old and dear friends.

His genius has always been a part of this space and will continue to be.

May he find peace in the space in which he continues to be.

Read about the memorial service in Memorable McQueen.

Painting by Danny Roberts. Photo courtesy of Daily Mail UK.

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One Comment

  1. February 12, 2010

    it just refuses to sink in right?….feels like being snatched off your box of colors…the world is going to be a drab place ….

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