i remember the first time i ever heard about mcqueen. it was a saturday evening about 6:30 and i was still in high school doing what i usually do at around that time every saturday evening, watching fashion television.
i've never heard of the designer who was being profiled at that moment. all i remember thinking to myself was how pompous and pretentious i thought that guy was for turning his face away from the camera while he was being interviewed. at that time london was more known for being this circus in the fashion calendar where the only thing that mattered was to shock and very little else. so my first reaction to the collection with the ripped tartans and lace with the freaky contact lense was just another gimmick from another flash in the pan. and bumster pants...yeah right.
that was my first introduction to mcqueen. and while i dismissed him at first as just another attention seeker, i found myself almost helplessly attracted to his work. in many ways he was the one who introduced me to the idea that fashion doesn't have to be "pretty". it could be provocative. it can be a political statement. or a big fat middle finger to the institution. when he opened my eyes to the possibilities of fashion, it made me realized that it wasn't just this adolescent hobby, it was something i really connected with. a medium that became my passport away from the mundane suburb i grew up in and over the years it took me to some of the most amazing joyrides of my life.
through mcqueen's romantic, and renegade sensibility it enabled me to define my own aesthetic. to not be scared to be different. to dream the biggest dreams you can and wear your heart on your sleeves because it doesn't do anything covered underneath your skin.
i'm pretty sure many will remember him as fashion's enfant terrible or his memorable runway presentations. but for me he was so much more than that. and as i read threads all over the internet the most poignant thing many has said was that he was the one who gave them that connection with fashion. its not easy to be inspirational in such an uninspired world, and the world has gone much dimmer. good bye mcqueen. thank you for being brave and having the guts to do you. i just wish you had the guts to hold on a little longer.