Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mourning McQueen

Who else made memento mori so stylish?

With his skull-adorned scarves and jewelry, Alexander McQueen reminded us that fashion is pure vanitas - a temporal luxury soon to pass. Like life, fashion is fleeting. In time, youth, beauty and wealth will abandon us. Only death waits for us in the end. For most of us, skulls evoked some kind of biker chic, a toughness that gave any outfit an edge. But for McQueen, there was nothing ironic about skulls on clothing. With him, it was always a grim memento mori disguised as style.

I am terribly saddened by McQueen's death, and particularly by the circumstances of it. His grief could not be sustained - even before his mother's death. His work seeped with grief. He was caught in a continuous Danse Macabre, yet through some strange alchemy turned the concept of decay into something beautiful and elegant. I will miss him.

This hologram of Kate Moss is so ethereal and angelic, perhaps McQueen's concept of what remains when all else is gone. I hope he has met his angels.

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