His companion of many years, Young Kim, confirmed that Mr. McLaren died on Thursday, and said that he died of mesothelioma at a hospital in Switzerland.
McLaren is best known, and will be most remembered, for assembling and managing the sneering punk prototypes, the Sex Pistols. Fearsome and outrageous, especially in an era that had just come through yacht rock and disco, the quartet’s sole, 1977 studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, right, remains one of the most influential rock albums ever. (This fact later led McLaren, with typical, consumate bombast, to declare himself “the inventor of punk.”)
I didn’t know about any of that, however, until much, much later. I didn’t know who McLaren even was until one afternoon in 1982, when driving down Commercial Ave. in Freeport, listening to my ’75 Impala’s radio, I heard the opening wails of his agglomeration with New York’s World’s Famous Supreme Team, “Buffalo Gals.”
Odder still was that her words had been the very ones with which others had eulogized Michael, her brother, merely eight months earlier. I’m guessing that memory was heavy in her heart Thursday afternoon.
“Today we lost a True Genius, Alexander McQueen,” Janet, shown right at the opening of MCQueen’s L.A. store in 2008, posted on Twitter. “He possessed a unique creativity that will never b recaptured.”
Lee Alexander McQueen was allegedly found Thursday morning in his $1M apartment by workers, hanged by his own hand at the age of 40. Police carried his body from the home, right, before it was taken away by private ambulance, according to The Daily Mail.
Reportedly, McQueen had been despondent over the recent death of his mother, Joyce, and, reading from the bottom, up, had apparently posted these tweets a mere eight days before his death:
Four days later, McQueen posted these messages, where he spoke of needing to “some how pull myself together,” in order to finish the NY Fashion Week show scheduled for Thursday afternoon:
Four days after that, McQueen was dead.
Widely credited with kicking British fashion into the 21st century a decade early—McQueen sold his company in 1991; 51% of it was folded into Gucci for £13.6 million in 2000—he remained the very Oxford definition of l’enfant terrible. He had a startling, savage talent and his couture, right, always teetered daringly on knife edges of chaos and assault. As he, himself, once said in an interview,
When you see a woman wearing McQueen, there’s a certain hardness to the clothes that makes her look powerful. It kind of fends people off. You have to have a lot of balls to talk to a woman wearing my clothes.
Yet, as an immensely skilled tailor in the tradition of Savile Row, where he’d once worked, he could also fashion stunningly classic, rich lines, as demonstrated in this crimson dress, worn by singer Mary J. Blige, below.
Though not a household name, on the level of Calvin Klein or Ralph Lauren, McQueen’s talent was so big that his every show was an event. His death has devastated the fashion world, and close friends. Model Kate Moss—McQueen stands between her and model Naomi Campbell, atop this post—whom McQueen publicly supported during her drug problems, is said to be inconsolable.
Fix your peepers on this classic photo of ’70s Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier, above, decked out in front of his classic black and silver Rolls Royce. (Best detail: The still-shinin’ twin towers of the World Trade Center, beaming peacefully in the background.)
Frazier was a true fashion plate, right, and the NBA’s go-to guy for style during the wild, rah-rah 1970s. Keep in mind that, back then, most basketball players went little beyond whatever polyester parachutes they could find at the Big & Tall Men’s Shop. A GQ man, before the term existed, Frazier’s deep interest in the limits of looking superb utterly stood out.
Unlike today, though, Frazier kept the off-the-court electricity separate from his on-the-court work. Unlike today, where athletes’ distractions seem to always get in the way of their day jobs, somehow, his luminescent lifestyle, and his intense interest in the latest wears, never overshadowed his ability to do the task, right, that paid for all those jackets, pants, and tailoring. And, of course, that superb piece of British motorcraft.
Though known today for the cheezy lines of his Just For Men commercials, right—”Emmitt: Your gray facial hair has put you in a rocking chair!”—back in the day, #10 was known for massive sideburns, his “WCF” vanity plates, atop, and always being the point guard to whom opposing teams feared getting close. As it should be. Rock on, Clyde.
The world gets smaller and smaller, and Vanity Fair‘s gets even tinier, still: Their new, March 2010 Hollywood cover, above, shot by Annie Leibovitz, features a bevy of SPF50-dependent, semi-translucent beauties.
They are, l-r, Abbie Cornish, Kristen Stewart, Carey Mulligan, Amanda Seyfried, Rebecca Hall, Mia Wasikowska, Emma Stone, Evan Rachel Wood, and Anna Kendrick.
It’s almost, like, given the kind of talent available and doing amazing work today, if you do a magazine cover of nine young women in film, right, and they’re all white, it’s just because you want it white. You’re making, intentionally or not, a racial power statement.
I wonder: While discussing Haiti over lunch, did any of these actors say, “Wow: This sure is one Caucazoid photo shoot”? Better yet, did anyone refuse to be part of something which so genteely hangs out the NO COLOREDS sign?
I don’t know if these women have thought about this, but, just like global warming, every bit of race adds up, and if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. At least, consider that the next time you’re cast in a project—like this one—that sends relations back sixty years.
When the temperature drops, there’s nothing more important than keeping your head, and thus brain, warm. With its deep, oversized thickness, and yummy 80/20, acrylic/wool mix, the Brobdingnagian Hat, above—worn by its talented maker, Yokoo Gibran—should keep your cranium appropriately toasty. Available in a rainbow of chroma. Brobdingnagian Hat, $55 at Yokoo’s shop on Etsy.
The Body Double English Rose Duvet Cover Bedding Set, above, will make people who stumble into your lair think that you’re stretched out there, buck naked, and covered in ruby-red roses. That is, unless, like most of Earth’s women, you’re brown. Or you’re a guy. Double-sized w/ two pillowcases. Machine-washable, 50/50 cotton-poly. $40.
Hallelujah! Kids, hear this: The immaculate chanteuse, Sade, announced on her web site today that
The highly anticipated new body of work from SADE Soldier Of Love, will be released WORLDWIDE on February 8, 2010.
The cover, shown above, appears to portray the artist from the rear, in Spanish garb. She’s wearing a couture black-and-silver backless silk dress, pale pink roses in her hair, and large silver hoop earrings, as she overlooks the ruins of Teotihuacan in Mexico.
Helen Folasade Adu, 50, right, leads a namesake group with three instrumentalists. The band has sold over 50 million records, since the release of their debut album, Diamond Life,in 1985.
The upcoming release, her sixth studio work, continues the artist’s prerogative for near decade-long gaps between albums.
Love Deluxe (1992) her fourth CD, was released four-and-a-half years after Stronger Than Pride, her third.
But Lover’s Rock followed eight years later, in November 2000. Soldier of Love‘s February delivery will place it at 9 1/4 years since the Nigerian-Britlish song stylist’s previous work, and less than a month after her 51st, January 16 birthday.
No word on singles or track listings yet, but, hey, believe me: We can wait.
The Galaxy Dress by designers Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz is made up of 24,000 2mm x 2mm color LEDs and 4,000 Swarovski crystals. It can glow for 30 minutes straight before needing to be recharged.
And, when you put it on to go pee in the middle of the night, you don’t have to turn on the lights.