I watched the Masters of Style episode on McQueen which aired in 2003, and then the McQueen and I documentary that chronicled Lee McQueen and Isabella Blow’s symbiotic friendship, and I still constantly find myself so saddened by McQueen’s loneliness and the legendary work that he’s left behind. His clothes were designed and tailored with his soul and imagination, and his shows were theatrical and political, and I honestly can’t say enough how much I revere that about his work, and his ability to refuse the status quo and to demolish the notion of the fashion industry. He thought fashion was trivial. He wasn’t sure if it was what he wanted to pursue for the rest of his life despite it being his greatest talent. Most of all, he wanted to infuse a new art into what fashion could mean to the world. Underneath the brazen armour of his fashion was a sensitive man who loved his mother and cared dearly for his muse, Isabella Blow. Maybe muse is the wrong word because they nurtured each other equally. Sometimes he’d cry when critics didn’t understand his work. Everything he did was much more personal than anyone could ever understand. Like many fastidious mavericks, he came from nothing and persevered until he gained a wealth of respect. Plato’s Atlantis, every time I peruse those pieces, it remains indescribable. There are pieces in his archive that are breathtaking, stunning, and absolutely hard to stop looking at, but his final collection is truly a vision of the future that I’ve yet to find anything else comparable to. I know that’s putting a single collection on a high pedestal but I can’t help but understand the enigma of Plato’s Atlantis and how every part of its performance still inspires me today.
Sometimes I think all he needed was a friend. Someone to love him and he deserved that more than anything else in the world. Everyone deserves that. I will always love and remember his work. The fashion of his love.