In a similar manner to the Romantic poets Lord Byron and Samuel Taylor Coleridge before him, the “exotic” of India, Africa, Turkey and the Far East sparked McQueen’s imagination. And the fabric of Japan proved to be particularly fertile, as he reconfigured the kimono a number of times throughout his career. The kimono, a straight-seamed unisex garment constructed with minimal cutting from a single bolt of cloth, flattens and hide the body of the wearer underneath, presenting a radically different notion of the body than that of the West’s. It was a vision of sexuality that fascinated McQueen, who explicitly referenced the aesthetic sensibilities of Japan in three collections: Voss (Spring/Summer 2001), Scanners (Autumn/Winter 2003) and It’s Only A Game (Spring/Summer 2005).
"I want to be honest about the world that we live in, and sometimes my political persuasions come through in my work. Fashion can be really racist, looking at the clothes of other cultures as costumes... That’s mundane and it’s old hat. Let’s break down some barriers" LEE ALEXANDER MCQUEEN
In this collection the idea of the chess game meant that we looked at six different types of women, women on opposing sides. We had the Americans facing the Japanese and the redheads facing the tanned Latinos.” Lee Alexander McQueen LEE ALEXANDER MCQUEEN
"My work will be about taking elements of traditional embroidery, filigree, and craftsmanship from countries all over the world. I will explore their crafts, patterns, and materials and interpret them in my own way" LEE ALEXANDER MCQUEEN
"the show was staged inside a huge two-way mirrored box, whereby the audience was reflected in the glass before the show began and then the models could not see out once the show started"Lee Alexander McQueen