McQueen "Genius of a generation", written by fashion journalist and blogger Kristin Knox, is a stunning visual and informative collection of British fashion designer Alexander Lee McQueen's best work, dating from 1969 -2010. The book also gives an insight into his past, and how he became an icon in the fashion industry as well as his untimely death in February 2010.
Born in March 1969 in London's east end, McQueen was the youngest of six children. His talent for fashion design began at a young age and he felt an outsider at school and at home. Once leaving school, McQueen had various apprenticeships where he took on skills that gained him a reputation in the fashion world later on. In 1992 McQueen completed a postgraduate course at Central St Martins where he met friend, and mentor, Isabella Blow. He was the head designer at the Givenchy label for five years before starting his own labels Alexander McQueen and McQ. His daring and imaginative designs often caused controversy like the 'bumster' trousers shown in his Spring/ Summer 2001 collection. As well as his designs McQueen was well known for his unconventional and theatrical runway shows like the lifesize hologram of Kate Moss for his Fall/Winter 2006 show. He has won the british designer of the year award four times over his career. His famous clientelle include Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.
Being a huge fan of McQueens work i was eager to read this book. In my opinion this is one of the best books i have had the pleasure to read in a long time. Although i already knew a lot about Alexander McQueens work this book gave me insight into his life before becoming a designer, as well as what inspires his collections (his re-occuring reference to birds). What i loved most about the book was seeing the development of his work over time and how he has maintained his reputation as a world renowned fashion designer. Author Kristin Knox has described the images in such detail that you feel as if you were the designer. Published by A & C Black, and 128 pages long, the book is easy to read and extremely high quality. From the paper and breathtaking runway photographs to the well presented pages. The cover of the book shows a full bleed eyecatching image of a piece from his Fall/Winter 2009 collection.The title font is simple and elegant but the name of the author Kristin Knox is not very visible because of it's dark colour, on a dark background. The introduction to the book tells us about McQueens life, from his childhood and how he became a success, to his death and how it effected the fashion world. Page 19 shows a large image of moving tribute messages to the late designer at London Fashion Week. The rest of the book shows images and detailed descriptions of his best pieces; from 1995 to 2010. The conclusion is a detailled account of McQueens last show for Fall/Winter 2010. The opposite page shows a large image of McQueen closing his spring summer 2010 collection, the last before he passed away. Though the book was interesting, i felt that it was missing some important elements that could improve it, such as original sketches of his designs, quotes from people who he worked with throughout his career and more details and images from past collections. I also found that the book had missed out some collections including 'Walking on Water' Spring/Summer 1997 and the 'Golden Shower' Spring/Summer 1998.
This is a stunning book of good value, high quality and is a great addition for every fashion lovers book collection. Highly recommended.