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Sad news

February 11, 2010

For the most part this is not a fashion blog.  Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion, but there are already so many blogs that do such an excellent job covering fashion news, I thought it redundant to just add to the cacophony of noise.

However now and then an event transpires that is so momentous that I can’t go without saying something.  I just wish the occasion was celebratory.

In case you were unaware Alexander McQueen passed away this morning.

I was surprised by how strongly the news affected me, and it took a good hour for me to regain my composure.  As the fashion world begins to eulogize McQueen, the terms “genius” and “visionary” will be bandied about a thousand times over. And with good reason ,as McQueen was all these things and so much more.

Fashion can be so many things. At an elemental level it’s the thrill of finding the perfect shoe.  At it’s best, it is a powerful visceral experience that is inexplicable and for the most part not rational (moved to tears by a skirt?) but it is oh so very real.  And this is where McQueen excelled. A master of his craft., McQueen’s work captured not just what fashion is, but what it should be.  Each season he offered the audience more than just a line up of pretty clothes. Seeing  a McQueen show was akin to a religious experience leaving you on your knees in awe of his magnificent vision, fully conceived and perfectly executed. (If this is just how I feel after watching a low quality YouTube edit, I can’t imagine what it must have been like live.)

For me, fashion is the highest form of artistic expression. True all good art provokes a reaction. However fashion alone offers the audience to opportunity to pick up where the original artist left off and create a new narrative that is uniquely influenced by the wearer’s style and sensibilities. In a world where so much of what passes for design  feels like fashion karaoke (i.e. watered down versions of better designer’s greatest hits)  McQueen was fashion at its best. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.

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