The intuitive, evocative, and surrealistic design style of brilliant artist Alexander McQueen has long been an inspiration in the world of alternative fashion, but exactly how much is he still (although now deceased) contributing to our style? It’s probably a great deal more than you think.
One of the most popular indie, gothic, and alternative fashion elements currently on the market for example, has seen its fair share of creative impulses from McQueen: the feather.
Whether molding a feminine, dark re-imagining of Poe’s raven, or belying the stiff under-structure of a formal Victorian trench coat, the artist’s work continuously forced the feather to new heights of invention, with stunning results.
Other natural materials as well, including wood, bone, and horn, have all been muse to the deeply romantic and insatiably dark vision of McQueen, creating many a masterpiece that effortlessly combines perfect, clean tailoring and organic form.
Flowers, mosses, and animal skins are favorite subjects.
Finally, our return to exoticism and folkloric influences even is predated by the designer’s own devolution to those elements of his heritage (Scottish, by the way).
The central role of folk tales and imagined magical history to the development of both Eastern and Western cultures is one thing that connects us all inexorably to our roots, as that imagination continues to feed our talents far into adulthood.
So where would our style be without Alexander McQueen? Somewhere likely less dark, obscure, and exotic, but also definitely far less exciting.
fashion photography of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty costume exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan (source: WGSN)