Fantastic visions, underpinned by sharp tailoring, as Alexander McQueen continues to thrill the world...
Founded in 1992 by the incredibly talented and uncompromising designer Lee McQueen, Alexander McQueen became one of the most respected fashion houses in the world in less than ten years.
Lee began his career with apprenticeships at the traditional Savile Row tailors, Anderson & Sheppard and Gieves & Hawkes. From there, he moved to theatrical costumiers, Angels and Bermans, and through these experiences he was able to master both the pattern-cutting techniques and razor-sharp tailoring, which have become the signature of the house. Lee completed a Masters degree in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins, where his graduate collection was bought in its entirety by the British fashion editor, Isabella Blow.
In celebration of Lee’s talent and achievements, the Costume Institute organised a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011. Entitled Savage Beauty, the exhibition became one of its most successful fashion exhibitions. In 2015, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, hosted the exhibition, this time with additional pieces, as well as a brand new ‘London’ gallery. It was to become the most visited exhibition in the V&A’s history.
Alexander McQueen shows are known for their emotional power and raw energy, as well as the romantic and contemporary nature of the collections. Renowned for its unbridled creativity, the brand today has become synonymous with modern British couture. Integral to the McQueen culture is the juxtaposition of contrasting elements: fragility and strength, tradition and modernity, fluidity and severity. An openly emotional and even passionate viewpoint is realised with a profound respect and influence for the arts and crafts tradition. McQueen’s collections combine an in-depth working knowledge of British tailoring, fine workmanship and the impeccable finish of Italian manufacturing.
Since her appointment in 2010 as Creative Director, Sarah Burton has produced critically acclaimed collections with a focus on handcraft and artisanal techniques. Her ability to marry the design codes of the house with lightness and her own feminine touch has brought a new and personal aesthetic that is being established as the blueprint of the house for the future.
Burton received global recognition as the designer of HRH the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress in April 2011, and was also honoured as Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in the same year. Time magazine listed her as one of its 100 most influential people in 2012 and Burton was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to the British fashion industry in June 2012.
For autumn/winter 2016, Alexander McQueen returned to present a one-off show at London Fashion Week. A collection that contrasts the light, delicate and quintessentially feminine with an oversized silhouette borrowed from menswear, Burton drew upon the dress codes of the boudoir to showcase sheer, lace-trimmed lingerie dresses, marabou feathers and quilted silk satin eiderdown coats played off against impeccably cut tuxedo jackets with a strong, Forties shoulder and deconstructed draped or double lapel.
Last year Burton launched the inaugural fragrance from Alexander McQueen. In partnership with Coty, McQueen Parfum and Eau de Parfum, a scent for women, were introduced to worldwide success.
Having expanded internationally through both wholesale and retail channels in the past few years, Alexander McQueen has strengthened its presence and position in the luxury sector. With a network of 45 stores worldwide and an e-commerce operation that ships to over 100 countries, fans of the house are able to access and shop for the brand literally anywhere in the world.
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN 4–5 OLD BOND STREET, LONDON W1S 4PD +44 (0)20 7355 0088