"Savage Beauty" is the name of the exhibition to be hosted from May to July by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to celebrate the work of internationally renowned and influential fashion designer the late Alexander McQueen. The exhibition begins with his postgraduate collection of 1992 and ends with his final runway presentation which took place only a month after his death. While the celebration of McQueen's work takes place in New York the designer was well known for his pride in his Scottish ancestry and was frequently seen on the runway in his kilt. Pictured left he wore his McQueen Modern tartan kilt to accompany Sarah Jessica Parker to the Costume Institute Gala in New York.
Indeed Lee Alexander McQueen's ashes were buried in Kilmuir, a tranquil spot on the north-western tip of Skye. This northern part of Skye is McQueen land and a piper played as he was buried. McQueen's father was from Skye and a taxi driver, and his mother a teacher. Born in London in 1969 he was determined to be a fashion designer and started with an apprenticeship at Savile Row tailor Anderson & Sheppard. From the beginning tartan featured and his first show in 1995 was said to be inspired by the Highland Clearances with models dressed in torn plaid and titled "Highland Rape". When McQueen accepted his CBE in 2003 he wore full Highland regalia.
McQueen was constantly in the headlines throughout his career for his design talent, association with haute couture labels, but also for his wildly theatrical shows, anti-establishment attitude and shock tactics. A top splattered with fake blood, a skeleton in the front row and double amputee model Aimee Mullins strutting her stuff on elegantly carved wooden legs. McQueen also won British Designer of the Year award four times.
What can we say? McQueen loved Scotland, her history and his family's place in her ancestry, the tranquility Skye could offer and in turn we remain avid fans of his inspirational collections.