“When I think of Alexander McQueen, I tend to picture him laughing. During those times together, he was not the visionary designer or the inspired fantasist, but just Lee – my confidante and support, my loyal friend. And yet I was always aware of a pulse that beat within him, a reminder that beneath this quiet, reflective person, an artist lingered. Lee’s imagination never holidayed, never flagged. He drew inspiration from everything around him; he was as passionate on the subject of his Anglo-Scottish heritage as he was on other cultures, on art and music, and always at the center of it all, people. He saw people as they were, grasped their cracks and complexities, embraced them. He loved women, really adored them – and not just for our statuesque beauty but for our fragility as well as our strength, our ghosts and demons alongside our accomplishments. I always felt that when Lee looked at you, he saw the vulnerabilities in an instant and nodded to them, drinking in a sense of who you were. On our various collaborative projects, it was only then, when he’d paused and made his internal sketch of you on the particular day, that he started to conceive whatever it was he was about to design. Alexander McQueen was a designer of our time, but really, he was outside and beyond all of that. He has been referred to as the fashion world’s darling, its rebel and pioneer. He was both all of these things and none of them at all, because actually, what he was, was an artist. He was both architect and artisan, with an insatiable appetite for creativity. Had he chosen paint or wood for his canvas instead of material, I genuinely believe he would have been determined to master and challenge their disciplines in that same defiant, obsessive way he worked with clothes. It is quite plausible that McQueen would have gone on to yield as profound an impact on another creative stage as he did on that of the fashion world. Painting’s loss was fashion’s gain, however, and how very glad I am of it.”

– Daphne Guinness (Fashion Icon)



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