“Beauty can come from the strangest places.”
-Alexander McQueen
Born in 1969, Lee Alexander McQueen grew up in East London.  He was a quiet, reflective person with an amazing imagination.  He was considered the greatest British fashion designer of his generation, and one of the most provocative.  Both a rebel and a pioneer, McQueen is referred to by many as fashion world’s most visionary designers.  But he was, above all things, an artist.
At Givenchy, he brought his unlimited imagination and a fantasy that expressed sometimes the darkness and sometimes the light of being human.  He saw women’s vulnerabilities and wanted them to look empowered, sexual, frightening, and confident.  Some of my favorite creations of his are below.
Alexander McQueen designed for women that might have been considered “outsiders” at school- women that had something different and unique about them.  He wanted women to feel strong and powerful in his clothes. 
I greatly admire McQueen because, like me, he was an extremely private person.  He was intuitive but not particularly articulate.  But through fashion, the designer came out of his shell.
 McQueen suffered from depression, accentuated by the highs of producing his shows and the lows that immediately followed.  He once stated, “I oscillate between life and death, happiness and sadness, good and evil.”
In 2010, Alexander McQueen killed himself.  He was only 40 years old.   
Sarah Burton, McQueen’s “right hand” for 16 years was then named creative director.  Under Burton, the Alexander McQueen label has become gentler- the shocks and jaw-dropping brilliance have dimmed.  But his legacy still lives on…
Like Alexander McQueen, I have an extreme fascination with skulls!  The presence of skulls were seen throughout McQueen’s collections.  Here are some of my favorite examples, both past and present.
Gold-Tone Swarovski Crystal Skull Ring | $295.00

Gold-Tone Swarovski Crystal Skull Bracelet | $330.00
Leopard Pony Double Wrap Skull Bracelet | $270.00
Brass ‘Glory’ Skull Pendant | $395.00
Suede Lace Punk Skull Peep-Toe | $1295.00
Love Skeletons Rock Vest | $265.00
Skull Scarf | $295.00 | Available in 55 Colors
Bubble Stud Britannia Skull Box Clutch | $1785.00
Leopard Pony Knucklebox Clutch | $2085.00
3D Skull Enamel Bangle | $315.00 | Available in 12 Colors
Tiger Snakeskin Skull Card Envelope | $345.00
“Alexander McQueen grasped women’s cracks and complexities…He loved women, really adored them- and not just for their statuesque beauty but for their fragility as well as their strengths; their ghosts and demons, alongside their accomplishments.”   – Daphne Guinness

Alexander McQueen was such a talented, creative, passionate artist and designer!  But his demons and darkest hours took the best of him!  Suicide is a confusing, heart-wrenching, devastating way to end one’s life.  My heart goes out to those lost, BEAUTIFUL souls!

In Loving Memory of My Beautiful Cousin | Tate Larsen Neilson | 1978-2013
If I could have talked to my cousin before his finality, I would have said…
Life is hard.  There is hope.  There is hurt.  You are a person that deserves to be known and loved by others.  You matter very much.  Your life is priceless.  Your story is important.  BEAUTY is found in life’s little moments.  Your life is worth remembering…A story that will endure forever!

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