Saturday, February 13, 2010

Of McQueen: Mastery, Success and Despair

My mind has been on Alexander McQueen this week
wondering about his life of extremes
from his mastery of fashion, meaning not just clothes but wearable art
to his success as the world's youngest leading designer
to his despondency and death
He could create clothes such as these
that were so immanently wearable
like this suit, perhaps without the birds nest hat

and this feather dress which we all know was copied on project runway

and this tropical bird of paradise evening gown, utterly wearable without the feathers

He could also create clothes that were pure theatrical genius

Like this "Red Queen" coat, an Orientalist - Georgian confection

and this armored warrior queen - note that the dress without the mail is dazzling in its cut

this basking butterfly headdress

and these iconic "bedlingtons" so aptly named by Miss Cavendish

and this birds of prey in flight headdress seemingly holding up this frock.

How does a 40 year old man at the height of his success succumb to such despair as to commit suicide? Granted that he grieved for the mother that he lost only days before his death, and his friend/champion Isabella Blow that he lost three years previously, but to take his grief to such extreme is for me, not understandable.
When I consider all of the people who are out of work and have families to feed or who are seriously ill from a terminal decease, who get up everyday continue with their lives, I wonder that McQueen couldn't have found the will to go on.
I friend of mine lost his daughter to cancer almost two years ago, after battling it with her for almost 8 years. His daughter was 24 years old when she died. He despaired in fact he still despairs but he goes on with his life. A woman that I work with has had cancer treatment off and on for the last 6 years and now the cancer has metastasized to her brain. She goes on knowing how fragile life is and appreciates each additional day.
I guess that in some way I'm insufficiently sensitive to the trials and travails of the talented, successful and wealthy 40 year old McQueen.

I leave you with this link to part 1 of McQueen's last show, Plato's Atlantis.
The embed code has been disabled, thus the link.
Watch and enjoy the last of his brilliant body of work.
Digg this


Deja Pseu said...

I think those of us who have never battled debilitating depression will probably never be able to comprehend the kind of mental anguish that makes death seem the better option. It's too bad that he didn't seek out some help before taking that irreversable step.

RIP, Mr. McQueen.

Wildernesschic said...

Suicide and depression will only ever be understood by those afflicted. My cousin committed suicide 28 IQ beyond belief her 19 year old boyfriend dumped her and she threw herself under a train not once but twice .. first time they stopped her .. but she went straight back and succeeded ... we have to live our lives and do what we can with them. I am like you so affected by this death in particular .. I never knew him but loved his work.
Went out to local village chinese restaurant in Mc Queen dress tonight ...over dressed ?? Who gives a shit .. my life, my tribute and I looked great :) xx
PS Great post

LPC said...

Sad, sad, sad, sad, sad.

Belle de Ville said...

Pseu, like you I wonder at the fact that he couldn't have found some help and medication to deal with his dispair.
Wilderness, I am so very sorry for your cousin. So much young promise lost with a suicide such as hers. Is any broken retlationship, unrequited love if you will, so difficult to accept that it leads to suicide. I wonder where the young man who caused such loss is right now with his life.
And good for you to wear your lovely McQueen.
LPC, yes sad but bewildering too.

Wildernesschic said...

Belle I have written a post about suicide and have linked this blog hope you dont mind x

WendyB said...

Depression is a hard thing to fathom.

Add to Technorati Favorites