RIP Alexander McQueen

Posted by Bel. The time is 4.15pm here in Wellington, NZ.

The death of Alexander McQueen, enfant terrible of high fashion, just a month before he was due to show a new collection at Paris Fashion Week, is a loss not just to those who adore spectacular clothes, but to anyone who loves to see imagination played out to its fullest.

McQueen is well known for his collaborations with Isabella Blow, his muse and patron, who kicked started his career by buying his graduate collection in its entirety. After her death in 2007, he dedicated his collection to her, adorning it with creations by milliner Philip Treacy - no one had worn his hats better than her.

McQueen was responsible for one of the great fashion trends of the 1990s: arse-crack revealing jeans. In a 1996 collection, he sent models down the runway in what he called "bumsters", a dramatic swerve away from the nipped-waist silohuette of the 1980s, which were dominated by power suits (epitomised by the elegant tailoring of Yves Saint Laurent).

As a teenage girl of the 90s, for whom Britney Spears was a style icon whether I liked it or not, the trickle down effect of this was undeniable. I even remember cutting the waistbands off jeans to cut them lower. Bumsters, and the extra inches of midriff and groin they exposed, have even been held accountable for the millennial rise in popularity of Brazilian waxes and "tramp stamp" tattoos. My mum was mostly concerned that my kidneys were constantly being exposed to cold drafts.

But let's not hold that against that man. He has also done much to increase the glam factor of many Hollywood events, with celebs scrambling to wear his gowns on the red carpet...

We could even mention the infamous claw shoe things that Lady Gaga has dragged into the spotlight, but I'm not really sure how I feel about those to be honest. We'll probably all be wearing them by next winter.

David LaChapelle's portrait of McQueen and Blow, Burning Down The House (2000).

"This whole situation is such a cliché. The turnover of fashion is just so quick and so throwaway, and I think that is a big part of the problem. There is no longevity."