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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Lee Alexander McQueen – An Irreplaceable Inspiration

Two months on, Georgia Takacs speaks to Carly Moroney, reflecting on what the death of Alexander McQueen will mean to the art students and young creatives who worshipped him.

Written by Georgia Takacs

All images courtesy of Jasiminne Yip

Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, medications Malaysia and sprung out of  Central Saint Martins over here, symptoms illustrator Jasminne Yip is my find du jour. Her work has been featured in Selfridges and her controversial subject areas reference her social commentary on the subjects at hand.

‘Beneath The Veil’ seeks to reeducate the viewer about Western understandings of Islamic sexuality. According to Yip, cialis 40mg her work expresses the sensuality and openness of Islamic sexuality before the fundamentalist aspect of the religion shaped many of our preconceptions about Islam. With a graphic style that is reminiscent of a graphic novel, Yip launches bravely into the subject area with a candid, insightful and feminine perspective that has been lacking in contemporary art practice.

In her other work, the backbone of sexuality, social commentary and wit is a constant theme. She explores society, and sometimes herself with an open bravery. No subject seems to be off limits, and no area is unexplored. Her photography project ‘Day, Noon and Night’ explores the cultural and identity shift that she experienced as ‘a wide-eyed ingénue fresh-off-the boat to the gutter-whore of Shoreditch’

Following along with the narrative of self examination pertaining to sexuality ‘MEAT’ is conceived as a summer of ‘trophy fucks’, a post feminist introspective on using men for pleasure based only on their looks, then documenting the experiences into illustrations.

What I like most about Jasminne Yip is her openness and her questioning of her environment about her. There is a real bravery to her work that is uncommon, and quite special.

Her website is located here.


Today there is only one thing on the minds of those working in the fashion sphere: the untimely departure of Alexander McQueen. At the grand age of 68, try our Vivienne Westwood is still churning out the masterpieces, healing season upon season. At a comparatively youthful 40, we could have potentially witnessed another 30 years of inimitable Lee Alexander McQueen inspiration, had he not sadly taken his life in February of this year. Since his arresting entrance to the industry with his implausible 1993 degree show, designers across the planet had been turning their heads and waving their fashion show tickets in awe of this mad futurist. Fifteen years later, Elle magazine described the ‘enfant-terrible’ as “the best fashion designer working in the world today.” Lee McQueen has even been hailed as superior to the legendary Yves Saint Laurent, loosely casting aside such other sartorial deities as Karl Lagerfeld and Westwood herself.

Yes, it is true that Alexander the Great became an integral asset in catapulting the fashion industry years into the future and inspiring other designers to chase his exhilarating visions. Yet, it is important to acknowledge the generations of art and fashion students to whom he offered overwhelming inspiration. Decades of McQueen’s unmatched talent hasn’t only been compromised for the industry, but also to the budding designers and fashionistas who looked up to him as the undoubted ‘best’. “I think that one of the biggest impacts will be on the students. His eccentric work always provided inspiration to a whole range of art and fashion projects,” commented Caroline Druitt, a textiles student. ? ?It is true that he has essentially left behind hoards of wannabe McQueens, gasping for evermore insight into, what was, a brilliant and unique mind.

I have been speaking to one such faithful follower. Carly Moroney, a student from Manchester studying Textiles for Fashion Design, was in the middle of an assignment inspired by McQueen’s work when she heard the news of his death. “My first reaction was one of true shock. I felt devastated… I feel that all art students have lost a huge inspiration in McQueen.” ? ?Like many students, looking at her work, it is clear how closely Moroney admired his ideas and I was blown away by what she presented to me. Intricate patterns; ornate details; flawless composition. Every print was utterly unique and paid true homage to McQueen’s style.


Digital prints by Carly Moroney

“I have taken inspiration from his Spring/Summer 2010 collection,” she said. “I’ve collected imagery of sea creatures and marine life and with this I created digital prints. I am extremely passionate about print and creating prints digitally,” – just as McQueen always was.


Photographs courtesy of catwalking.com

According to a press release, McQueen’s ideas behind the collection were, to no revelation, forward-thinking. As forward-thinking as the next ice age. He was apparently creating an apocalyptic forecast of the future; an ecological meltdown of the world where life on earth would ultimately exist underwater, hence the reptile-patterned dresses and giant shoes that resembled armoured heads of fantastical sea monsters. After the usual brainwave-bending required to take in the next McQueen dream, the style of both dress and shoes respectively became instant fashion staples for 2010, and had students such as Carly Moroney excited and inspired by McQueen’s latest work.

Taking this woman-meets-sea mammals concept, she’s transformed images of marine life and under-the-sea textures into those geometric, layered digital prints. As part of her project she then used these to create designs for garments. Deliciously unusual and audacious, they echo the original designs in that they are somewhat mind-swerving and haven’t been seen before.


Garment illustrations by Carly Moroney

“I felt this was his best collection yet. I love the use of the natural world in his prints and this helped me to begin my project.”


Garment illustrations by Carly Moroney

That is precisely why McQueen has been pure gold to any art student. As one myself, I’m familiar with that seasonal situation; when you have an idea, something to begin the entire concept of your next project. It could be a colour, a texture, something concrete and alive or something abstract. Whatever your starting point, through the archives of McQueen there will be a season in which he has taken that basic notion and exploded it to the edges of artistic boundaries. Those will be the images that you print, cut and stick immediately into your sketchbook. Those will be the images that get those inventive ideas running. Those are the images that have encouraged so many young minds to reach for the skies and turn out their best work.
Carly Moroney is just one example of this. She has the kind of talent that Lee Alexander McQueen has unknowingly surfaced in young creatives all over the world.

After barely seventeen years in the business, he had shaped modern tailoring, introduced many new timeless garments and had twisted fashion shows into spectacles, more than worthy of the theatre stage. Heaven knows what more he could have accomplished if he had only lived longer.

As devastating as it was to see him go, his stunning work will forever live on. Yes, future McQueen inspiration has been lost, to the students in particular, and something will always be missing at fashion weeks across the world. Nevertheless, we are deeply fortunate to have been left with a legacy of such genius.

You can also read our original tribute here.

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