David Bowie Interviews Alexander McQueen; Dazed Magazine 1996

David Bowie wearing a coat by McQueen for 1997's Earthling

Dazed magazine posted an interview done in 1996 of the late Alexander McQueen by the the Sovereign himself, David Bowie. The two famously collaborated early in McQueen’s career, notably for Bowie’s Earthling tour which featured costumes like the fabulous Union Jack coat pictured above. At the time of the interview, the two had never met in person despite having worked together for over a year. Some highlights…

…on working in the corporate fashion world:

DB: So how are you going to work in these circumstances [at Givenchy]? Do you feel as though you’re going to have rules and parameters placed on you, or what?
AM: Well, yeah, but you know I can only do it the way I do it. That’s why they chose me and if they can’t accept that, they’ll have to get someone else. They’re going to have no choice at the end of the day because I work to my own laws and requirements, not anyone’s else’s. I sound a bit like yourself!

…a wicked ice-burn on Armani:

DB: Armani says, ‘Fashion is dead’.
AM: Oh, so is he… I mean, God…

…the inevitable “isn’t that sad in the wake of his recent suicide” quote:

DB: Do you think of clothes themselves as being a way of torturing society?
AM: I don’t put such an importance on clothes, anyway. I mean at the end of the day they are, after all, just clothes and I can’t cure the world of illness with clothes. I just try to make the person that’s wearing them feel more confident in themselves because I am so unconfident. I’m really insecure in a lot of ways and I suppose my confidence comes out in the clothes I design anyway. I’m very insecure as a person.

I am an embarrassingly big fan of David Bowie, and this blog should leave no question of my devotion and love of all things McQueen, so any conversation between the two is kind of like porn for me. Too bad it was conducted over the phone, and therefore didn’t result in any charming photo ops of the two laughing at each others’ charms over a spot of tea, or whatever British people do when they assemble in groups. Cricket, maybe? Now those would be some cute pictures.

Read it all on Dazed Digital; link via Fashionista.


Lagerfeld Related Hilarity from the Onion

THE ONION: Forgetful Karl Lagerfeld Inadvertantly Starts Lobster-Bib Trend

Oh god. So funny. I love it.

Not Fashion, Just Awesome – OK Go’s Rube Goldberg Video

Like it says in the title, it’s not fashion (unless you consider paint splattered jumpsuits the new hotness), but it is really effing cool. OK Go has a reputation for nifty music videos, and this one appeals to the Mousetrap playing kid in me. Watch and marvel.

Via Topless Robot.

Alexander McQueen on Charlie Rose

Boing Boing points out a recent episode of Charlie Rose that features a replay of a 1997 interview with recently deceased Lee McQueen.

The interview with McQueen is heartbreaking, but enlightening. I love what he has to say about his ideal woman as strong and independent, not naive. He says, “I don’t like her to look as though she could be taken advantage of.” He also talks briefly about his much maligned tenure at Givenchy with a charming sort of cheek – “I think it put most people in a coma,” he says in regards to accepting the position of head designer.

But there are moments in the interview that hint, perhaps, at some of the personal struggles that might have led to his recent suicide. When Charlie Rose asks how hard he has worked, McQueen replies, “Too hard,” with no hesitation.

“Sometimes you sit back, and you wonder what you’re doing it for,” he says.

Later, Lee McQueen laughs as he says, “I can never go through this again. Once is enough.”

How sad.

On a less dark note, the round table discussion preceding the McQueen interview is quite interesting – it’s long, but touches on great points regarding fashion as a business versus fashion as a “dream”. Designer Narciso Rodriguez, NYT’s Cathy Horyn, J Crew CEO Millard Drexler, and Elle Magazine’s Roberta Myers all have interesting things to say, and their perspectives from all different points of the industry – design, retail, magazines, and newspapers – provide for a well-rounded discussion. Watch it if you have the time.

See the full clip here, on Hulu. The 1997 interview with McQueen starts at around 45 minutes in.

Original link via Boing Boing.

Cover Girl Tina Fey Talks Fashion for Vogue

Link: Tina Fey Opens Up to Vogue’s Johnathan Van Meter…

The hilarious and lovely Tina Fey has been photographed by Mario Testino for the cover of this month’s Vogue magazine. Johnathan Van Meter talks with the refreshingly normal superstar in a great piece that talks about fashion, feminism, and boob tape.

Some highlights…

…on being normal:

“I don’t fit the mold,” she says. “In this country, success usually happens when you are 22 and six feet tall…I feel like I represent normalcy in some way. What are your choices today in entertainment? People either represent youth, power, or sexuality. And then there’s me, carrying normalcy.”

…on white denim:

One day when Fey was in high school, she went to the Springfield Mall with her friend Sandee and came upon an outfit that spoke to her inner bad girl. “Talk about the power of clothes to make you feel like more than you are,” she says as if she had just tried the outfit on this morning. “It was a white denim suit: a fitted skirt above the knee, and then the top was a jacket with a turned-up collar that you could zip all the way up. It probably had three-quarter sleeves, and it was very fitted through the waist. I remember thinking, I look fantastic in this. I have really come into my own in my white denim suit.”

…on fashion shows:

“I get invited to fashion shows,” says Fey, “but I feel like I’d get busted if I went to them. People would be like, Who you tryin’ to be?”

…on fashion and feminism:

“I spend most of my time in my daily life trying to be like a fashion noncombatant. My hands are up! I’m not even trying! That said, to talk about the impact of fashion is really interesting. I think so much of it is tied into feminism. I am a post-baby boomer who has been handed a sort of Spice Girls’ version of feminism. We’re supposed to be wearing half-shirts and jumping around. And, you know, maybe that’s not panning out. But you can tell different generations of women by whether or not they wear that Hillary Clinton blue power suit or the reappropriated Playboy-symbol necklace worn ironically. I think women dress for other women to let them know what their deal is. Because if women were only dressing for men, there would be nothing but Victoria’s Secret. There would be no Dior.”

Check out the whole article on Vogue.com. Tina Fey’s outlook on femininity, fashion, and body image are so charmingly realistic and straightforward; I know it’s been said a thousand times but she really is a fantastic role model for women of all ages. And she’s pretty damn funny, to boot.

Image via Vogue.com

R.I.P. Alexander McQueen

Link: Fashion designer Alexander McQueen dies

The British fashion designer Alexander McQueen has been found dead at his London home at the age of 40.

His company, Alexander McQueen, issued a statement saying: “On behalf of Lee McQueen’s family, Alexander McQueen today announces the tragic news that Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand, has been found dead at his home. At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee’s family.

I am beyond words. Alexander McQueen was, with absolutely no exaggeration, my favorite fashion designer – of this generation or any. His work was consistently bold and innovative. I remember thinking, many years ago before I was as interested in fashion as I am today, that his designs stood out because they looked like individual artistic creations. His pieces were architectural and gorgeous, and it is such a loss for those close to him and for anyone who appreciates the creation of beauty.

It is unfortunate but not infrequent that artistic genius is so frequently coupled with mental troubles. If the scope of McQueens genius can be used as a measure, he must have been fighting some serious demons. I can only pray now that he is at peace – if he believed in a place better than this one, I hope he is there now. For his family and those close to him, they will have a difficult task of grieving privately while the public demands statements, photos, and more. I pray that they will have the opportunity to mourn properly, and that the press at large will respect their loss.

I cannot express how very sad I am to wake up to this news. Long live McQueen.

Random Gorgeousness – Maggie Cheung

Maggie Cheung on the cover of the forthcoming Glass magazine. She is one of the most beautiful women in the world, no question!

Image via Fashion Gone Rogue.

Donna Karan: "We’re Killing Our Own Industry"

Link: Donna Karan: “We’re Killing Our Own Industry”

Wish I could have been there! Last night, Donna Karan and FIT’s Valerie Steele sat down for a discussion at Parsons about the current state of the fashion industry. Fashionologie reports:

She not only wants to change the clothing delivery schedule, but also the fashion show schedule.

“When I launched my company, the shows were in April and May, now they’re in February. So my question to this industry, and I say it to myself for my own company: Why am I showing clothes in February? I don’t want the consumer to see next week [at New York Fashion Week] what is going to be in stores in Fall, because it’s confusing. In the movie industry, the consumer doesn’t know about the movies until they’re ready to come out. Why do we give the consumer so much information about fashion six or seven months beforehand? It makes no sense to me.”

In regards to the modern iteration of the fashion show, she says:

“We need fashion shows, but that’s industry, it’s not for the general public. All the communication has to stop. It doesn’t go out on the wire, it doesn’t go out on the Internet, it doesn’t get out for the manufacturers to copy the designs. I mean, we’re killing our own industry … There’s too much information going out there. We have to learn the word restriction.”

I know that as a fashion blogger, I should be wildly opposed to the notion that fashion shows shouldn’t be filled with Tavi Gevinsons, Bryan Boys, and a smattering of paid-appearance A-listers. In truth, though, I mostly agree with Donna Karan on this one. The three ring circus that make up any city’s fashion week is great for tabloid fodder and “Tweet as fast as you can” style coverage, but it really breaks down into an overload of information that’s just not that informative. I have as much fun as the next girl reading the Fug Girls’ daily recaps during New York Fashion Week, but their coverage is most definitely celebrity based – who showed up where looking like which character from Dynasty. Good fun, but how relevant can that really be from an industry standpoint?

On the other hand, I think that closing off all media access to fashion shows may be going a bit too far. If they really made them industry exclusive, the whole thing would turn into Cartmanland – and you can’t come! – except I think it would end in stiletto heels being used as weaponry as the gate crashers took gate crashing to violent new heights.

So much to do at Fashion Week, but you can’t come! …especially you Stan and Kyle.

Then again, maybe I’m just jealous that I’m not the one sitting stone faced on the front row, Blackberry waiting like a six shooter to be drawn in an Old West shootout of name-dropping microblogs.

Anyway, read the whole article on Fashionologie. It’s very interesting, and Donna Karan’s ideas are a refreshingly honest and frank. Here’s hoping someone in the sold-out audience was listening!

Jean Paul Gaultier Interview from Telegraph

Link: Jean Paul Gaultier Interview from Telegraph

Monsieur Gaultier’s time is obviously of the essence and yet he is happily chatting away, telling me how he designed a corset for his cat. (It’s always about corsets with him, it seems.) ‘Do you know,’ he says, ‘that cats can’t wear corsets?’ He giggles a little. ‘Do you ’ave a cat?’

I tell him I do.

‘Have you ever tied something round his middle?’

I tell him I haven’t.

‘They can’t stand!’ he says. ‘Not at all! They just fall over.

I know because I tried!’

Corsets on cats? I think we’d get along famously. This is a cute interview; worth a read.

Vintage Inspiration in Current Photo Editorials – Omg 80s like whoa

Maryna Linchuk would be a shoe in for Homecoming Queen at Sweet Valley High in this totally radical 80s denim spread by Giampaolo Sgura for Vogue Paris. Meanwhile, Isabeli Fontana is one of the Kids in America for Moschino’s Spring 2010 ad campaign by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.

Oh, and by the way – sweet dreams (are made of those hot pink Swarovski encrusted Louboutin heels). Straight up.

Images via Fashion Gone Rogue.