Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Death of a Genius

Here's looking at you kid
Hard to forget

Here's looking at you kid

At least not yet

Your memory stays

It lingers ever

Fade away never
Roxy Music - '2HB'

Quite a bit has happened since I last posted. I'm on my way to getting a flat for September, I wrote another poem for my creative writing workshop and of course Valentines Day came and went, with my boyfriend Tom staying for the weekend and leaving me some nice jewellery in the process:

The gold one!

Aren't they just LOVELY? I'm wearing my necklace at the moment and just can't stop playing with it!

Something else has happened since I last updated that sadly is not as lovely as quirky jewellery. Alexander McQueen, a legendary fashion designer and one of my personal idols, took his own life on Wednesday, aged 40-years-old. This was days before London Fashion Week was to begin and with every collection I look at, no matter how much I enjoy it, or whatever opinion I may form about it, all that is in the back of my mind is that there will never be a chance to see Alexander McQueen's creations again. I'm clearly not the only one, as Bjork has written a conceptual poem to mourn her friend and Lady Gaga is reportedly too upset to perform her additional numbers for the closing of tonight's Brit Awards, claiming she wishes the performance to be a more sombre tribute to him.

The main school of thought as to why McQueen chose to take his own life is that his mother, Joyce, had died the week before. Twitter posts by the designer seem to back this up, with McQueen's mood being understandably up and down. Another belief is that he never got over the suicide of his close friend (and another idol of mine), fashion stylist Isabella Blow in 2007. However, while it is tempting to get to the root cause when discussing suicide, I don't believe we will ever come close to understanding the psychological turmoil McQueen must have been experiencing before he killed himself. While the ideas of Joyce and Isabella's deaths playing a part seems incredibly likely, I think this is really only scratching the surface and that may be as far as we ever get.

McQueen managed to leave a legacy that will probably not be forgotten in a long time, both inside and outside of the fashion world. While I follow a few designers, he is one of the only ones whose clothes really affected me. He never ventured into the world of haute couture, but his clothes managed to be extremely inventive and exciting, as did his catwalk shows. His S/S10 show was truly a spectacle, with footage of Racquel Zimmerman writhing with a snake before models strutted down the runway, looking somewhat reptilian in geometric prints:

A dress from McQueen's S/S10 collection.

However, it is his F/W09 collection that will always remain a staunch favourite, if only for its straight up oddness. With clothes in vampiric shades and wide mouths in black and red, it's certainly not for the faint-hearted, but just shows how unafraid McQueen was to take risks and polarise opinion:

Spectacular Weirdness: Excerpts from McQueen's F/W09 collection.

Therefore, while McQueen's death is undoubtedly a tragedy, I feel it's best to look at what legacy we might leave behind. If you were to die tomorrow, would you be happy with all that you've done in your life? Would you have made a lasting impression in any way? If his death has shown me anything, it's that aiming to accomplish your own personal goals can never come too soon.

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