Alexander McQueen, Haute Couture, How Absurdity Became High Art

By Xah Lee. Date:

Just learned today, that Alexander McQueen (1969 to 2010) killed himself, on 2010-02. Age 41. He's a well-known fashion designer with many international awards.

“Alexander McQueen Retrospective”

About these Haute Couture fashion stuff… am not sure what to say. I want to say they are idiotic. First of all, these “highart” fashions are irrelevant to everyday life and common people. They are catered to the rich and the show biz. That's something in clash with my lifestyle and thoughts.

If i consider Haute Couture as a art form, that is, design clothing for the sake of design (without regards to function or comfort or practicality), and i look at the clothing of these catwalks, i find them rather lacking artistry. These elevated “designs”, are easy, almost trivial, and not beautiful. It's the same phenomenon where some photography is elevated as high art. To put in context, music, painting, sculpting, poetry, are much more of a art.

Look at the following, i suppose it's one of fashion show McQueen created:

Weird Science of Alexander McQueen

Is that art? How idiotic can that be? Painting a white dress by 2 robotic arms on a actress.

In the art world, there are a lot idiotic things. Often, the most trivial idiotic thing are elevated to be a celebrated genre, idea. e.g. random dumping of paint on canvas and you have abstract paintings. Then there's music composition of absolutely no sound. These famous artists went on to talk about their ideas, philosophy, etc.

I think the reason that often arts become stupid is precisely because it is not something many people do. The more “high” the art, the more chance it becomes absurd garbage.

Of a set of Haute Couture that i found beautiful is here: Fashion Alices.

For another highbrow fancy fashion show, see: Harem (Sarah Brightman).

Discovered that, Isabella Blow (1958 to 2007), a English magazine editor and international style icon, a friend who helped McQueen became famous, also killed herself.