The Iconic Edition
Advice
|1 Sep|3 mins

Style tips from Alexander McQueen

Get a little haute couture in your life
Lucy E Cousins
1 Sep
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Known for his over-the-top, darkly romantic gothic-inspired runway shows, the late Alexander McQueen was one of England’s most respected fashion designers. Not only did he nab the head job at Givenchy from John Galliano, he also won the British Fashion Council Designer of the Year Award. Four times.

Next month, he’s the subject of a documentary from New York-based Bleecker Street Media and to celebrate, we thought we’d pull together five style tips we learned from the designer himself.  

Advice
|1 Sep|3 mins

Style tips from Alexander McQueen

Get a little haute couture in your life
Lucy E Cousins
1 Sep
Share:

Known for his over-the-top, darkly romantic gothic-inspired runway shows, the late Alexander McQueen was one of England’s most respected fashion designers. Not only did he nab the head job at Givenchy from John Galliano, he also won the British Fashion Council Designer of the Year Award. Four times.

Next month, he’s the subject of a documentary from New York-based Bleecker Street Media and to celebrate, we thought we’d pull together five style tips we learned from the designer himself.  

Images via Getty.

1) Be bold and fashion fearless 

Though shy in person, McQueen advocated for boldness in not only fashion but in the topics he paired his collections to. He regularly referenced taboo topics such as violence, death, rape and demons, and used the gravity of these dark subjects to highlight his designs. But McQueen didn’t just dabble in the serious side of life, he also infused his designs with humour, as seen at the famous ‘bumster’ runway show of Spring/ Summer 1996, which had models showing off their cheeks through their pants.

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2) Nothing can replace good tailoring

Never skimp on a one-size-fits-all outfit; proper tailoring (or lack there of) can  make or break a fashion moment. Having trained as an apprentice on Savile Row, McQueen was known for his intricate tailoring work, so much so that tailoring is still a key characteristic of the brand today.  He learned the skills and craftsmanship of cut, form and proportion so that his garments were always balanced, no matter how much material he used. From perfectly tailored skirts and dresses with metres of fabric to deconstructed coats and bodices, the McQueen touch is all about precision.

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3) Shoes are king

Don’t forget to dress your feet to impress as well; McQueen knew the power that a good pair of shoes can have. As soon as his famous Armadillo shoes hit the runway at the spring/summer 2010 Plato's Atlantis show, they became iconic. This was partly because they were 30cm high, partly because they were hand-crafted out of one block of wood, and partly because he only made 21 pairs of them. Lady Gaga reportedly paid 190,000 pounds for the ones she wore in her ‘Bad Romance’ clip. 

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4) If in doubt, add an animal motif

If there’s one thing we loved about McQueen’s runway shows, it was that they were filled with drama. In fact they were deliciously covered in drama like chocolate sauce on a Brothers Grimm fairytale. And like fairytales, often his designs include animals, skeletons and skulls. From birds and feathers to animal patterns and butterflies, soak up a bit of McQueen style and add a little animal inspiration to your next outfit. Just don’t keep wolves in a cage as he did for one runway show…

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Lucy E Cousins
Writer
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