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McQueen has accomplished something that postmodern culture has largely failed to do, taking a deeper look at life and death at a time when Western civilization fills its museums and cinemas and national memorials with cartoons and meaningless scribble. Artists are always outsiders. They see the world differently than most of us do. Sometimes, it is that difference, combined with an obsession for craft—in music, drawing, sculpture or poetry—that teaches a nation, a community, the world, a new language of communication.

Today, it would seem the West has reached the end of something and is seeking a new path. Sometimes it is an old path that appears radically new, because it has been re-empowered with new vision and energy. True artists are shamans and mystics, but they pay a heavy personal price. Charlatans only appear successful. But the loss of his mother and his closest mentor, Isabella Blow, overwhelmed him.

Blow, who had been the editor of British Vogue , began her career as an assistant to Anna Wintour, the powerful editor of American Vogue. In the summer of , Isabella drank a bottle of Paraquat—the same poison her father-in-law used to kill himself. The deaths of those closest to him made his life increasingly difficult. On the runway of the last collection he hosted, he had installed a giant metal, light-encrusted sculpture of a winged Icarus—the boy from Greek legend who lost his life flying too close to the sun.

McQueen also distanced himself. In the winter of , in the midst of working on his spring collection which is included in the Met exhibition , McQueen, at the age of 41, hanged himself in his apartment after taking a bottle of sleeping pills. Newspaper columnists were quick to blame the heartlessness of the fashion industry. Although his firm continues to flourish, I suggest those interested in his career and art obtain a copy of the page catalogue.

The text, written by the curator, Andrew Bolton, and Susannah Frankel, is sparse but contains useful insights and critiques. The focus of the catalogue, wisely, is the photographic record of the extraordinary oeuvre of Alexander McQueen. Bolton writes in his introduction: At first glance, an avant-garde fashion designer might seem an unlikely subject for discussion here. Savage Beauty Ney York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, , p.

Image Books, Doubleday, , p. Michael Kimmelman, "Sculpture Now: Just Another Pretty Face? Lauren Goldstein Crowe, Isabella Blow: What followed was an extremely decadent, unbelievably delicious, quintessentially British three course meal.

We just loved it. A surprise course of a light mushroom risotto, with not a grain of rice in sight.. There were sixteen to choose from… so we had eight each. An exquisite dinner at The Goring, combined with the extraordinary Alexander McQueen exhibition made for the most perfect day. This experience is a real treat, so if you know someone with a special birthday or anniversary coming up, I would suggest that this could be the perfect gift….

You can receive my posts by email here or you can follow me on BlogLovin. There are so many so-called designers and artists today for whom I have no time or respect. Their contributions are, at best, weak and many of the works I recently saw at the Venice Biennale only reaffirmed my opinion. McQueen, though, was able to see what was beautiful around him and found little reason to scour the corners of the Earth for inspiration when he felt he had it all in front of him across this great multicultural city of London.

One can see the world represented in his designs. Striking is perhaps the word that most comes to mind. Add to wishlist E-mail a link to this book. Enjoy the gallery of some of the most interesting books sold this year!

Know what you are getting into when purchasing rare books, and learn the difference between signed books and inscribed books. What makes Biblio different? Sign In Register Help Cart 0. Savage Beauty by Bolton, Andrew Condition: Add to cart Add to wishlist E-mail a link to this book.

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