Lee Alexander McQueen born on 17 March 1969 was a British fashion designer and couturier. He is known for having worked as chief designer at Givenchy from 1996 to 2001 and for founding his own Alexander McQueen label. His achievements in fashion earned him four British Designer of the Year awards (1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003), as well as the CFDA’s International Designer of the Year award in 2003. McQueen committed suicide in 2010 at the age of forty.
McQueen could never stop himself from obsessing over the dark side of beauty, like a little boy turning over a ladybird to examine the black and wriggling legs underneath. At one point the once so eager McQueen for global success, no longer seemed to care. Instead, he was ever more fascinated by death. In one show alone, staged in 2007, there were images of locusts, owls, heads rotting into skulls, flames, blood and naked girls. Alexander McQueen loved to shock. His collections often toyed with themes such as rape, violence, death, and mortality. It was a combination of this obsession with darkness and his extraordinary ability to cut fabric. It’s easy to read the his fascination with the grotesque was purely a sign of unhappiness.
In spring 2009, McQueen invited his friend Sebastian Pons for a holiday at a £1.7 million house he’d bought in Majorca, and the two men sat talking one night.
‘I’ve already designed my last collection,’ said McQueen.
‘What do you mean, your last collection?’ asked Pons. ‘You mean your next collection?’
‘No. My last. I have it in my head. In my last collection, I’m going to kill myself. I’m going to end this.’
His plan, he said, was to do it during a show, in front of the audience. ‘He told me he’d have a Perspex or glass box, and in the middle of that another glass box,’ recalled Pons. ‘Towards the end of the show, he’d come out from under the ground and shoot himself, so all his brains would drip down the glass.’