Alexander McQueen: Being a King and (Mc)Queen


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“I never look at other people’s work. My mind has to be completely focused on my own illustrations.” 

I remember the day Nate called me saying that our next project going to be working on something for McQ; the youthful, rebellious, sibling to the legendary couture house. It was one of the happiest days of my life. To know we would be a part of Mr. McQueen’s legacy was truly a humbling experience. With most of our collaborative projects, we start with our concept and build from there, however, with this one, we wanted to find a way to honor one of our idols by doing a project that reflected who he was and the legacy he left behind. This task would come with obstacles and triumphs, but at the end of the day, I can confidently say if the legend was with us today, I think he’d approve of the work we created in his name.  This article is but a small sip of a muse juice we were on, and a mere highlight of Alexander McQueen’s genius that inspired us while creating the piece below.


Lee Alexander McQueen will forever be remembered as a designer that challenged EVERYTHING! Although he worked in a world based on image and decadence, much of his work reflected a deep and abiding disdain for the excesses that come with the fashion industry. With an attitude that always exuded more punk rock than Haute couture, one could easily mistake the designer for being anti-fashion, however, his years of working on Saville Row helped him develop a reputation for impeccable tailoring and garment construction that could only come from someone that used such specialty techniques as an art form.

Beautiful, clean, lines combined with exquisite detailing made McQueen’s silhouettes perfection.

“As a designer, you’ve always got to push yourself forward; you’ve got to keep up with the trends or make your own trends. That’s what I do.”

McQueen was once quoted as saying, “Fashion should be a form of escapism and not a form of imprisonment.” This is an ideal we hold close to our hearts here at the Lemonade stand. There are no boundaries, no rules, no guidelines when we create our art. We do what we feel in our souls and we put it out there with the hope that others will appreciate it, but understand it may not appeal to the masses, and that’s ok! McQueen’s shows reflected this sentiment. Whether he was showing his collection on a giant chess board in his “It’s Only a Game” S/S 2005 show, or around a giant trash heap in his A/W 2009 campaign, “Horn of Plenty,” his shows were a reflection on how he felt about the fashion world. He was the ultimate rebel, whose rebel yell only further launched his stardom– he was a master showman. Always one to think outside the box, Mr. McQueen was the very first designer to showcase his entire collection online; he wanted to provide visuals to those who wanted to be a part of his world, but couldn’t. His vision was brought through his storytelling tactics, bringing excitement to the fashion industry in a way that only he could do. He never referred to his collections/garments as fashion, but as illusions. The beauty of which was unrivaled by his peers.

Pushing the limits of his art, created the most beautiful visuals, and in turn, an equally beautiful creator. 

“Of course I make mistakes. I’m human. If I didn’t make mistakes, I’d never learn. You can only go forward by mistakes.” 

One of the things we admired most about Mr. McQueen, was that he rejected the idea of perfection. He created and welcomed all things that were out of the ordinary. He was never concerned with fitting in. To him, art and expression were paramount. Sadly, McQueen took his own life in 2010; some of us here remember that day so vividly and to this day forget his physical state is no longer with us because of the continued success of his brand. His legacy is carried on today by his closest confidant and assistant, the brilliant Sarah Burton.

The designer once said, “give me time and I’ll give you a revolution.” We want to say, “Thank you.” Thank you for a revolution has given our world so much beauty and inspiration.  -Ron Gatsby


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