The Legacy of Alexander McQueen

April 29, 2015


Let’s take a close look at the word “creativity”. Generally, it’s described as “taking two disparate thoughts or ideas and forming a brand new one, preferably with a WOW factor." Another way of saying this is: the ability to illustrate what is outside the box from within the box.

The key word in the paragraph above is WOW and in the world of fashion – or even elsewhere – this is extremely difficult to do. But, one person who pulled it off time and time again was the late Alexander McQueen.

THE AMERICAN SHOW IN 2011 – I was familiar with McQueen’s work of course, but I never realized how incredible it was until I attended the exhibit called Savage Beauty – an Inside Look at the Work of Alexander McQueen at the Metropolitan Museum.

Savage Beauty at the Met

This exhibit, which was attended by a record-breaking 600,000 attendees, simply blew my mind. I went with a friend who had a special pass to the Met, so we did not have to stand in a line outside the museum for two-to-three hours as many willingly did.

The exhibit itself was beautifully presented with astonishing darkly handsome backgrounds and moody haunting music. In particular, I remember being riveted by a beautiful ball gown made of black parachute silk which was gently moving and billowing as if in a cross breeze (it’s still a mystery to me how this was done).

THE BRITISH SHOW IN 2015 – And now we’re seeing McQueen’s amazing talents on display once again. Savage Beauty is now being shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum until August 2, 2015 where Londoners et al can view the remarkable talents of McQueen just as we did years ago.

One aspect of the London Savage Beauty show, as reported by Carol Woolton, jewelry editor of Vogue, in her write-up in the Financial Times, 3/14-15, is the inclusion of the jewelry by Shaun Leane who created incredible pieces for McQueen over a period of 18 years.

Jewelry by Shaun Leane – Savage Beauty, V&A Museum

“Each piece was a landmark in my career,” he says. “I worked with him for so long he’s a part of my makeup. Creating pieces that make bold statements with refined lines has stayed true to me. I still have him in my ear telling me to make a piece sharper or brighter.”

PLUS A RIVETING BOOK IN 2015 – The fascination with McQueen and his genius is also explored in a recently published 432-page book entitled Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano by Dana Thomas.

I have just finished reading this saga of two astounding talents who came from similar backgrounds and rose to the top of their chosen profession. If you want to read an “I can’t-put-this-down” book that will keep you up until 4 am and beyond – then be sure to get your hands on a copy.


If you’re planning to visit London for the Victoria and Albert show or traveling to Paris or Rome this summer, don’t forget to take a stash of easy-upkeep and great-looking Adea layering tops. They’re terrific travel partners.  

- Shaun

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