As a designer who drew perennial inspiration from the past, Alexander McQueen directly engaged with his Scottish ancestry and English history on a number of occasions. The two collections that explicitly address Scottish history and identity politics, Highland Rape (Autumn/Winter 1995) and The Widows of Culloden (Autumn/Winter 2006) sit ten years apart and provide contrasting, if creatively cathartic narratives on two specific historical events. That McQueen incorporated his own family tartan into each, produced by the Lochcarron Mill in Scotland, signalled the importance of the pull the country had upon him.
"I’m a designer with a cause. I like to challenge history" LEE ALEXANDER MCQUEEN
"The reason I’m patriotic about Scotland is because I think it’s been dealt a really hard hand. It’s marketed the world over as... haggis... bagpipes. But no one ever puts anything back into it."Lee Alexander McQueen
"with this collection, i wanted to show a more poetic side to my work. it was all about... a feeling of sadness, but in a cinematic kind of way. i find beauty in melancholy" LEE ALEXANDER MCQUEEN
"I don’t really get inspired [by specific women]... It’s more in the minds of the women in the past, like Cathering the Great, or Marie Antoinette. People who were doomed. Joan of Arc or Colette. Iconic women" LEE ALEXANDER MCQUEEN
"I thought, I’ll do this thing on the Queen, and I’ll get the knighthood. I’ll become Sir Alexander McQueen."Lee Alexander McQueen