THROWBACK THURSDAY: Champagne Supernovas
Last week we covered the two of the individuals focused on by the book Champagne Supernovas, Kate Moss and Marc Jacobs. This week, we are going to take a look at the third dancer in the 90s fashion spotlight, Alexander McQueen.
In the beginning of the book, Lee Alexander McQueen is still at home with his loving family, though his father is opposed to his sexuality. He attempts to enroll in Central Saint Martins but it takes time and a fervent commitment to essentially harassing one of the instructors before he is admitted to the program. His senior thesis is sold to an Aristocrat, Isabella Blow, who is to become one of his major supporters in the coming year, trading favors for couture dresses by the young designer. At this point, we see a motivated, impassioned McQueen determined to make his mark on the fashion world.
The effect that Izzie Blow has on McQueen is profound. At her flat in London, where McQueen frequents and resides, she has also provided for the young Philip Treacy, a burgeoning Milliner who will go on to design many hats for McQueen's show. She also convinces him that Alexander, as opposed to Lee McQueen, more suits him as a fashion designer.
Their relationship is central to McQueen's arc throughout the book. It passes through multiple phases, some where she is doting on him as his mother would (he had a way with getting people to do just what he wanted them too) or where she feels she has been insulted when he did not offer her the position of muse and pay her when appointed to Givenchy.
Issie effect on Alexander McQueen was long and profound. Without spoiling the end of what happens to McQueen (but really... its on Wikipedia), the book follows his tumultous personal life as a tortured artist and soul. The beauty and romanticisim of his fashion shows were the result of a creative genious tortured by his own demons and Champagne Supernovas does a wonderful credit to the designer by showcasing all aspects of what made him great.
McQueen always knew how would change the world of fashion. What the book demonstrates is the process he, along with Kate Moss and Marc Jacobs, took to change the nature of fashion in the 1990s.
I highly recommend this book! You can purchase it by clicking on this link (Just in time for World Book Day on April 23rd).