About Alexander McQueen

A model shows off a design for the Alexander McQueen Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2011 fashion show.

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

British fashion designer Alexander McQueen left his mark in the fashion world, a style icon most famous for his avant-garde fashion shows, cutting-edge style and provocative designs. From skull-embellished accessories to ruffled dresses, Alexander McQueen runway presentations always shocked, delighted and astounded the audience. His business partner Sarah Burton now manages the line, and you can find his fantasy-inspired pieces to build your chic, luxury wardrobe online and offline.

History

McQueen jumped into the fashion world at the ripe age of 16, working with pattern makers and costumiers on Savile Row. He was able to show off his signature collection, comprised of European couture-inspired pieces and dramatic gowns, at the Central Saint Martins Masters program in 1994. Fashion editor Isabella Blow immediately bought the entire collection, and the Gucci Group acquired just over half of the Alexander McQueen label in 2000. The designer went on to create a menswear line, fragrances collections, a ready-to-wear line, shoes and accessories. McQueen committed suicide at the age of 40 on Feb. 12, 2010, a few days after the death of his mother, leading to a posthumous exhibit of his work in 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.

Identification

Many of his collections are inspired by theatrical costumes and include over-the-top designs and embellishments such as ruffles, real feathers, Asian silk brocade and real gold. Every trademark runway show is based around an innovative, artistic theme and creative concept. "Plato's Atlantis" (Spring/Summer 2010) was based on Charles Darwin's "The Origin of the Species" and had a techie, engineering-themed set. "The Girl Who Lived in a Tree (Fall/Winter 2008) featured fairy tale scenes including toy soldiers and punk princesses. "It's Only a Game" (Spring/Summer 2005) featured a life-sized chess board with models dressed as each playing piece.

Clothes and Accessories

From eye-catching dresses to luxury handbags, the Alexander McQueen collections are fit for celebrities and A-listers looking for an outfit with a provocative edge. The womenswear collection is ideal for special occasions and any red carpet events you might be attending. Super high-heeled boots and sandals embellished with leather, studs and fish bones; skinny jeans and leggings with zippers; all-in-one pantsuits and figure-hugging dresses are all a great match for special events and activities that demand the "wow" factor. Build your own luxury wardrobe with tailored, streamlined dresses, over-dyed leather jackets, skull vests, Victorian-inspired blouses and scarf shirts. Knuckle box clutches, hard-shell clutches with skull embellishments and high-heeled, fish-bone sandals are just a few examples of the edgy and out-of-the-box pieces that make up the Alexander McQueen womenswear collection.

Location

Even though McQueen was based out of Great Britain, his collections are found throughout Europe, the United States and around the globe. Flagship stores are located in London, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Milan. You can buy Alexander McQueen dresses, ensembles and accessories from luxury online boutiques and most major online fashion sites. The official Alexander McQueen website also offers an online shopping experience and includes both menswear and womenswear collections.

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