Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Years after His Death, McQueen Still Has the Power to Shock

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Years after His Death, McQueen Still Has the Power to Shock

Article excerpt

Byline: Emma Johnson

HIS graduation fashion show was entitled Jack The Ripper Stalking His Victims, he sent models down the runway in torn dresses spattered in what looked like blood, designed jeans that left a woman's bum cheeks on show and called one of his most notorious collections "Highland Rape".

It is safe to say that when it comes to pushing the boundaries of taste and decency and making millions while doing it, no-one could hold an over-priced candle to Alexander McQueen.

And almost five years after he was found hanged at his London home aged just 40, the couturier is proving he still has an unparalleled ability to shock, as this week it was claimed that the four-time British Designer of the Year had thought about killing himself in front of everyone during one of his runway presentations.

A friend of the designer alleges that McQueen, or Lee as his friends knew him, talked of shooting himself inside a perspex box on the catwalk, "so all his brains would drip down the glass".

It is a chilling image and just one of the disturbing accounts of the enfant terrible's life detailed in Andrew Wilson's new biography Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath The Skin, one of two books out this month chronicling the East End boy's tortured genius.

Tortured genius: |McQueen with It sits alongside stories of drug binges and violent outbursts, not to mention the allegation that McQueen was abused as a child.

I can't imagine much of what has been revealed will surprise those who have followed McQueen's career closely. Dark imagery ran throughout his work and he was pilloried as well as praised, often in equal measure.

While the likes of Vogue editor Anna Wintour - who spoke at his funeral - adored him, other female writers accused him of being a woman-hater who displayed his misogny through his catwalk creations. …

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