Couturier Alexander McQueen Designs These Shoes, Kills Self
Note to readers: After receiving a testy email from Lauren Starke, Director of Public Relations for New York Media, who objected to my attribution of a quote to New York magazine fashion editor Amina Akhtar, I have been advised to prepare this statement: The post that follows is intended as satire and parody. I have not actually interviewed Amina Akhtar, Bernard Arnault, or anyone else regarding McQueen’s death. The quotes are made-up.
In case you weren’t able to figure that out on your own.
British fashion designer Alexander McQueen was found dead in his London flat on February 10, an apparent suicide. McQueen was forty.
Although the full details of McQueen’s death have not yet been released, friends reported that he had been deeply despondent over the last several months following the realization that he had dedicated his life’s work to the world’s most pointless profession.A close family member, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that McQueen’s depression began to deepen last October when his Spring 2010 collection was unveiled in Paris. After the show, at which his line of 10-inch-high women’s footwear was introduced, McQueen admitted to a few intimates that he no longer felt personally rewarded by designing shoes that made models look as though they had gotten their feet stuck in flower vases.
That conviction seemed to take root in a series of emails McQueen sent to friends during the subsequent holiday season. “I thought it would cheer me up to have Raquel Zimmermann wrestle topless in the sand with snakes for the Paris show,” he wrote in one such exchange. “I thought I could re-create the thrill I felt when put a double-amputee on stilts and paraded her down the catwalk like I did at Givenchy. Or when I hung those tampons on a skirt. I mean, fuck Duchamp, right? But it all turned out to be such a downer. Plus those shoes look like what Guy Pearce was wearing in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert when they show up at that hotel bar in Broken Hill, Australia.”
New York magazine fashion editor Amina Akhtar reported being “devastated” by the news of McQueen’s suicide, adding that McQueen’s death was a loss that would be felt the world over, “especially by anorexic, twenty-something career women; bulimic models; pale, sickly-looking teenage girls; and high school sophomore boys whose friends insist they’re just ‘artistic.’”
Bernard Arnault, who hired McQueen at Givenchy, downplayed reports of past conflict between the two, emphasizing that a man of McQueen’s talent “is forgiven everything.” Added Arnault, “How many designers are there in the world who can dress a Björk or a Lady Gaga? Making women of that cultural importance look like Disinterred-Cadaver Barbie is a gift permitted to only the few, and Alexander was one of them. The hideous, over-priced dresses at this year’s Oscar ceremony are going to be a lot less hideous and over-priced without him.”
For McQueen, however, the thrill had evidently gone quite some time ago. In one of the last emails he wrote, he told his ex, George Forsyth, “Remember me on that yacht in Ibiza? I was so full of ideas, all ready to go to work on my ‘Explosion in a Play-Doh Factory’ collection. I couldn’t wait to say the Devil wears McQueen. Well, I ran into the Devil yesterday and she’s put on weight, the cow. And all she wanted to talk about was florals. The minute I could get away from her, I tweeted ‘I do not think in florals!’ And I meant it, too.”
Indeed, there are those who consider McQueen’s final tweets a kind of public suicide note. “If it she had not me nor would you,” he wrote in the kind of eloquent expression of deep human emotion that Twitter has made possible for millions. And then, a few hours later, “milkduds!”
With that as epitaph, Alexander McQueen abandoned the catwalk for the last time, leaving the world of fashion to wonder how it could possibly go on promoting grotesque, useless, unwearable clothing without him.