Alexander McQueen. Blood Beneath the Skin

Alexander McQueen. Blood Beneath the Skin

Andrew Wilson.

London. Simon & Schuster. 2015. First edition. Hardback, dust jacket. 393 pages. 16 plates of illustrations. 240 x 165mm (9˝ x 6˝"). 0.7kg. 9781471131783. English. Fine; as new.

'Written with the support of the McQueen Family', Andrew Wilson's biography of Alexander McQueen provides an in-depth look at the life of the designer, from his birth in the East End of London to his death in 2010. It reveals his genius and his amazing success as a fashion designer, but it doesn't flinch from exploring the seamier side of his life, including his drug habit and eventual death. Whilst the book had the support of the designer's family, boyfriends and several of his fashion associates, many of his inner-circle in fashion were less enthusiastic about this warts-and-all tale published so soon after his death.
McQueen's fashion has always been inextricably linked with his own personal story. His collections dealt with complex, frequently macabre, themes and this biography goes some way to discovering the roots of these ideas.
'"There's blood beneath every layer of skin," McQueen once said. This biography aims to get beneath his skin to reveal the raw source of his genius and to show the links between his dark work and his even darker life.' (Wilson in his introduction).

'When Alexander McQueen committed suicide in February 2010, aged just 40, a shocked world mourned the loss of its most visionary fashion designer.
McQueen had risen from humble beginnings as the youngest child of an East London taxi driver to scale the heights of fame, fortune and glamour. He designed clothes for the world's most beautiful women including Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. In business he created a multi-million pound luxury brand that became a favourite with both celebrities and royalty, most famously the Duchess of Cambridge who wore a McQueen dress on her wedding day.
But behind the confident facade and bad-boy image, lay a sensitive soul who struggled to survive in the ruthless world of fashion. As the pressures of work intensified, so McQueen became increasingly dependent on the drugs that contributed to his tragic end. Meanwhile, in his private life, his failure to find lasting love with a string of boyfriends only added to his despair. And then there were the dark secrets that haunted his sleep…
A modern-day fairy tale infused with the darkness of a Greek tragedy, this book will tell the sensational story of McQueen's rise from his hard East London upbringing to the hedonistic world of fashion. Those closest to the designer - his family, friends and lovers - have spoken for the first time about the man they knew, a fragmented and insecure individual, a lost boy who battled to gain entry into a world that ultimately destroyed him.' (from the publisher's description).