Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Month of McQueen: The Givenchy Years, Part 1

In 1996, at the age of 27-years-old, Lee Alexander McQueen succeeded John Galliano for head designer at Givenchy.
Already notorious for speaking his mind, he called his first Givenchy couture collection, 'crap'.

Oh, and then he called the founder, 'irrelevant'.

October 15, 1996
Coming of age for an enfant terrible

ALEXANDER McQUEEN, the enfant terrible of British fashion, was appointed chief designer at Givenchy yesterday.
The 27-year-old east Londoner, who showed his most recent collection in a swimming pool and is best known for creating "bumster" trousers - cut alarmingly low at the back - will design haute couture and ready-to-wear as well as his own label.
He follows John Galliano, 36, the son of a south London plumber, who took over at Givenchy in 1995 and moves on to head the larger house of Christian Dior.
Although Galliano had long been tipped for the Dior job, McQueen's appointment was less certain. Everyone from Vivienne Westwood to Jean-Paul Gaultier was rumoured to have been considered. McQueen was reported to have turned down the job, but he had a change of heart last week and travelled to Paris to sign the contract.
Givenchy's brief statement spoke of McQueen's "brilliant creativity, combined with his technical mastery", which would "ensure the ongoing evolution of Givenchy's tradition of elegance".

Givenchy Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 1997

January 20, 1997
Eastender triumphs with Paris collection

We may be grasping at straws here but there are some similarities between this collection and his last two Womenswear collections.....

Wondering, if interviewed now, would he still call this first collection for Givenchy, 'crap' or just the beginnings of runway awesomeness.

Quotes from a rare interview, with CNN in 2007:

"Once I finish designing the show collection, I start thinking about the customer."

"There's nothing more stunning than someone who understands what style is."

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