Text and photographs by Anne Deniau.
New York. Abrams. 2012. First edition. Cloth-bound hardback with printed design. 400 pages. Nearly 400 colour and b&w photographs. 335 x 260mm (13¼ x 10¼"). 3.2kg. 9781419704482. English. Fine.
Anne Daniau (aka Ann Ray)'s exclusive photos from backstage at Alexander McQueen's shows capture the designer and his creations over a thirteen year period. The pair met when McQueen started at Givenchy and between 1997 and 2010 he invited Deniau to photograph his collections from behind-the-scenes. The pair became great friends and the pictures have an honesty and truthfulness to them borne out from this friendship. Over 30,000 images were taken and almost 400 of them are presented here. Some are portraits of the designer and many are shots of the clothes. Deniau's photographs have a lucidity and immediacy that bring McQueen's beautiful designs back to life.
McQueen did not leave any diaries, letters or autobiography but this book is probably the closest thing we have to a memoir. "I wanted you to document my life from the beginning, in your unique way; you have been the only one, and now you have my life in pictures. I trust you. I wanted it that way." (McQueen, quoted in Deniau's introduction).
The title of the book references the tattoo on McQueen's arm: "Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind." Words spoken by Helena in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
'Lee Alexander McQueen (1969–2010), whose design combined visionary aesthetics, emotional power, and extraordinary craft, was known for staging provocative shows that were as much performances as venues to display his couture creations. Charged with energy, informed by history and culture, and filled with fresh concepts, McQueen’s shows have become legends not only of fashion but also of art. Anne Deniau was the only photographer allowed backstage by McQueen for 13 years, beginning in September 1997 and ending with the final show in March 2010. She captured McQueen working with his close circle of collaborators—including designer Sarah Burton, milliner Philip Treacy, jewelry designer Shaun Leane, and model Kate Moss—to create his meticulously produced spectacles. Her book offers an inspiring homage, through the art of photography, to the work of a great artist.' (from the publisher's description).
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