Monday, 20 September 2010
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN's MEMORIAL ST PAUL's CATHEDRAL
St Paul's Cathedral at 10.30am was packed outside and in. The photographers, the fans of Alexander McQueen were barricaded outside.
I got up early and had hair and make up done with Snowden and Scarlett. I was so excited getting dressed, as if Alexander were still alive, I wanted to please him. I bought a hat from Phillip Treacy on Saturday, black with a rose. I wanted to be correct, I like wearing hats and could wear them everyday, but this one had to be special.
I had a sort of romance with someone I only met once or twice at his shows, he just didn't have a clue just how popular he was, or perhaps he did, he just didn't care. I realised I have lived part of my life through his collections. It was the reason for going to Fashion week, to see what he could create, the other designers did clothes, he did feeling. It was never boring and always worth waiting for. He and his team were artists who could make you expand all your imagination and enter the gothic, blood thirsty, contemporary fairytales he created. I realise also that he was the only reason for liking the fashion world he told a story and he hypnotised me.
He came from working class roots in the East End of London, a son of a cabby , and grew up watching birds from the top of his council house. He was a lover of nature, death, his dogs, and designing, bones and skulls, way before Damien Hirst.. He first started as a tailor and then went to St Martins School of design where he was found by Isabella Blow. This is hearsay but it will do. He quickly moved up the ranks of the difficult world of fashion soon becoming courted by all the major magazines and fashionista. Friends with the fast set and liking being with his family the best. Including Phillip Treacy and Stephan, Naomi Campbell, Isabella Blow,Kate Moss, Daphne Guinness, Annabelle Neilson his childhood friends all mixed in together. His black side was later to kill him.
I can't remember when I bought my first jacket, but I am sure I bought it from A la Mode. I have several hundred items of his now. I love Victorian melodrama, riding jackets, white frilly shirts, tails, weirdo shoes that you can't walk in luckily and Lee did too.. I only own one dress which I bought recently. I don't suit dresses. All I know is that when people asked me who my favourite designer was, and I said Alexander Mcqueen, you got a nod of respect, as if part of an elite cult.
I liked backstage. I would sneak in with the hairdressers, begging them to show me everything. Seeing the make up applied, the hair. Once I watched people making wigs for his show for several hours. I was happy I loved it. I was not one of his friends, and at the time hung on the tails of Italian Vogue -praying they would let me in. Of course I did a book on British Artists, so that helped. Now the crew welcome me like friends. I was his unknown groupie.
Today walking in behind the screams and yells of fans, Sarah Jessica Parker looked ravishing in a black satin hunting coat over a white chiffon skirt. She looked at me and smiled.
Sitting in the centre of St Paul's Cathedral I listened to Zadok the Priest. This was the first thing I sang at School in the choir. I also sang it at my Mother's Memorial. It was if I was being called by Angels, pulled to the sky. I had goose bumps.
Bjork wearing angels wings, Annabelle Neilson spoke poetically of walks, beaches, losing keys, hearing his voice losing it. Hard as she was the last to have seen him,
Phillip Treacy, his nephews, Anna Wintour, American Vogue and Suzy Menkes of the Herald Tribune. All with passion and truth, half spilling stories of bad tempers, fights, truth, valour, passion, making a coat in a night, ten tules for a wedding dress not worn and then making a ball dress instead. So it went on. The lovely Michael Nyman played the piano beautifully. Finished off with bagpipes and a black choir crazily singing.
Nothing more to be said.. my hat off to you, unknown pal .. adieu x