(RIGHT)‘I don’t really get inspired [by specific women]. . . . It’s more in the minds of the women in the past, like Catherine the Great, or Marie Antoinette. People who were doomed. Joan of Arc or Colette. Iconic women’ McQueen-Purple Fashion, Summer 2007
Red and black dyed ostrich feather dress featuring bodice made of glass medical slides painted red, to represent how “there’s blood beneath every layer of skin.” VOSS, Spring 2001.(RIGHT)
Andrew Bolton stated that 'it was precisely his[McQueen's] romantic yearnings that propelled his creativity and advanced fashion in the directions previously considered unimaginable
Remember Sam Taylor-Wood’s dying fruit? Things rot. . . . I used flowers because they die. My mood was darkly romantic at the time.’ McQueen-Harper’s Bazaar, April 2007
(RIGHT) White cotton muslin spray-painted black and yellow with under skirt of whit synthetic tulle
(LEFT) Dress and glove of printed silk satin; underskirt of duck feathers painted gold.
(RIGHT) Razor-clam shell stripped and varnished
‘My friend George and I were walking on the beach in Norfolk, and there were thousands of [razor-clam] shells. They were so beautiful, I thought I had to do something with them. So, we decided to make [a dress] out of them. . . . The shells had outlived their usefulness on the beach, so we put them to another use on a dress. Then Erin [O’Conner] came out and trashed the dress, so their usefulness was over once again. Kind of like fashion, really. ’McQueen-WWD, September 28, 2000
According to Andrew Bolton, one of the most compelling item from Alexander McQueen's exhibition is the ensemble made of duck feathers dyed black to give out the impression of a raven which was a romantic symbol of death. The ensemble is among McQueen's collection 'The Horn of Plenty' which was much inspired by the 1950's haute couture. McQueen's love for high shoulders and small waist. McQueen was a lover of birds and their feathers played a major role in his works.
In McQueen's words, 'It is important to look at death because it is part of life. It is a sad thing, melancholy but romantic at the same time. It is the end of a cycle-everything has an end. The cycle of life is positive because it gives room for mew things' Drapers-Feb 20,2010
“[This collection] was a shout against English designers . . . doing flamboyant Scottish clothes. My father’s family originates from the Isle of Skye, and I’d studied the history of the Scottish upheavals and the Clearances. People were so unintelligent they thought this was about women being raped—yet Highland Rape was about England’s rape of Scotland.” McQueen-Time Out (London), September 24–October 1, 1997
(RIGHT)Ensemble VOSS collection Spring Summer 2001, a jacket of pink and gray wool bird's eye embroidered with silk thread; trouser of pink and grey wool bird's eye; hat of pink and grey embroidered with silk thread and decorated with Amaranthus
'I liked the padded hips because they didn't make the [piece] look historical...more sensual. Like the statue of Diana with breast and big hips. Its more maternal, more womanly.'McQueen- Purple Fashion, Issue 7, Summer 2007
(Right)The Oyster dress from McQueen's Irene Spring /Summer 2003 collection is made of hundreds of layers of silk organza, almost like a mille-feuiller pastry. The collection told the story of a shipwreck at the sea and the subsequent landfall in the Amazon, peopled with pirates, conquistadors and Amazonian Indians. The collection was also indspired by the life
(LEFT)'I spent a long time learning how to co struct clothes, which is important to do before you can deconstruct them'. McQueen-Self service, Spring/ Summer 2002
The 'Eshu' Dress(Right) was inspired by the Yoruba people of West Africa, mixing tribal details with luxurious fabric. The dress was embroidered with yellow glass beads interwoven with horsehair. McQueen contrast the sophistication of the beading with the rawness of the hair.
'(I try) push the silhouette. To change the silhouette is to change the thinking of how we look. What I do is to look at ancient African tribes and the way they dress. The rituals of how they dress...there's a lot of tribalism in the collection.' McQueen-Purple Fashion,Issue 7, Summer 2007
(LEFT) Overdress of panels from the nineteenth- century Japanese silk screen; under dress of oyster shell with neck piece of silver and Tahiti pearls. Neck piece by Shaun Leane
According to Sarah Burton, Plato's Atlantis(LEFT) which is the last collection of McQueen was an idea of sort of the reversal of evolution, how life would evoke back into the water if the ice caps melted and we were reclaimed by nature.
[This collection predicts a future in which] the ice cap would melt...the water would rise and...life on earth would have to evolve in order to live beneath the sea once more or perish. Humanity [would] go back to the place from once it came', McQueen- Plato's Atlantis-Spring/Summer 2010
(LEFT)Dress of black leather;collar of red pheasant feathers and resin vulture skuls; gloves of black leather
[In this collection] my idea was this mad scientist who cut all these women up and mixed them all back together.’McQueen-Numéro, July/August 2002
“I don’t think like the average person on the street. I think quite perversely sometimes. McQueen-Dazed and Confused, September 1998