[May 3 2021] : Magazine
interview by OLIVIER ZAHM
portrait by ANNE DENIAU
pictures by STÉPHANE FEUGÈRE
The flamboyant rascal of British design continues to mine the veins of his cultural heritage — from Gainsborough to The New Romantics — in his search for the New Silhouette. Never one to acquiesce to the status quo, he now takes fashion psychologically and sensually deeper. The astonishingly beautiful clothes of his Summer 2007 collection invoke the grace, elegance, and underlying sexuality of bygone eras, as if to mask in fragile beauty the violent masochism of today.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Should I call you Alexander or Lee?
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN — Lee is OK.
OLIVIER ZAHM — How do you feel, Lee?
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN — Exhausted!
OLIVIER ZAHM — You have a lot of work?
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN — For the moment we’re working on the pre-collection for the women’s and men’s shows. It’s a hard season because everyone wants to finish for Christmas. We put more work into the pre-collection than the show because it makes up for 70% of the sales. And usually, the best ideas come from the pre. You don’t see it on the runway for the show. The more innovative cutting is in the pre-collection, because I do most of it myself.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Do you have more work now that you have your own company? Or, has the fashion business become more complex and time consuming?
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN — I’m working more. I do more cutting and experimentation now than I ever used to do. Even though my company has gotten bigger, my workload has increased. But I feel like I’m getting my second wind in fashion. After Givenchy, I was kind of dead. Fashion was very… I was not really inspired by anything. I was really fucking bored. Now I think things are changing in fashion, in a good way. There are a lot of new aspects, new shapes. Maybe now we can move to a new silhouette.
OLIVIER ZAHM — When did you start to have this new feeling?
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN — The last two collections. Not so much in references to history. It’s more like an underlying feeling. The mood is much more fashion orientated. When I was with a big company like Givenchy, it was more about numbers and sales. I’m not thinking about that so much...
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