Alexander McQueen, who died on Thursday at the age of 40, was a true genius of fashion design. He was a visionary, an innovator, an unabashed showman, and not the least significant, a master tailor, beginning as an apprentice on London's famed Savile Row at the age 16.
Many of his collections are outstanding and vigorously push the boundaries of their moment. And they were only getting better and better.
His last, the Spring/Summer 2010 collection (called Plato's Atlantis), saw McQueen's innovative streak reach a climax. The robotic track crane cameras fed live footage of the runway show and audience to a digital screen and to the Internet, bending the technological boundaries of the very experience of a fashion show like never before. But the clothing -- the sort of synthetic reptilian/alien quality to the fabrics, the graceful yet dynamic cuts, and those famous claw shoes -- are what really engulf the eye. Watch it in parts here and here.
Read New York Times critic Cathy Horyn's tribute to Lee Alexander McQueen here, with narrated video. The NYT review of another recent showstopper of a McQueen collection, Fall 2009, is worth reading again. The slideshow is here.
* Photo above via the Alexander McQueen Fan page on Facebook.