Good to be McQueen

Alexander McQueen—A Retrospective

A year after the designer's suicide shook the fashion industry, the Met gives McQueen the honor of shaping history before the memories get fuzzy. In this week's Newsweek, Robin Givhan looks at how the designer's legacy is seen in historical context.

Francois Guillot, AFP / Getty Images

Francois Guillot, AFP / Getty Images

McQueen takes a final wave at the end of his Spring/Summer 2010 fashion show on October 6, 2009, in Paris.

Michel Euler / AP Photo

McQueen's Spring/Summer 2010 collection was the toast of Paris: The live-streamed show models paraded in futuristic designs, and impossibly high "armadillo" boots.

Dave M. Benett / Getty Images

With Naomi Campbell at a private dinner hosted by the editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, on September 21, 2009, in London.

Christophe Ena / AP Photo (2)

In McQueen's Fall/Winter 2009 collection, one look channeled modern chain-mail, and another was topped off with an architectural hat.

Nathan Strange / AP Photo; Stuart Ramson / AP Photo; Jennifer Graylock / AP Photo

Sarah Jessica Parker arrives at the world premiere of Sex and the City at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, Monday May 12, 2008 in a floral hat by McQueen. She appeared in his creations again (with the designer on her arm) at the Costume Institute Gala in 2006—and again at the DVD launch of Sex and the City: The Movie in 2008.

Jacques Brinon / AP Photo

Models circle a giant structure onstage at McQueen's Fall/Winter 2008-2009 Ready-to-Wear collection in Paris on Feb. 29, 2008.

Marc Germain, Camera Press / Retna

Prince Harry and Princess Beatrice, in a vibrant dress and hat by McQueen, at the wedding of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly at St. George's Chapel in 2008.

Remy de la Mauvinere / AP Photo

McQueen takes a bow at end of the presentation of his Spring/Summer Ready to Wear 2006.

Trae Patton, NBCU Photo Bank / AP Photo; Tammie Arroyo / AP Photo; Francois Durand / Getty Images

Cate Blanchett, wearing Alexander McQueen, at the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 15, 2007. She wore the designer again at the Los Angeles premiere of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in December 2008, and again at the premiere of Babel at the Palais des Festivals during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival in 2006.

Myung Jung Kim / Press Association via AP Images

Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and Annabelle Neilson with McQueen arriving for the "Black" Fashion Show.

Matthew Fearn / Press Association via AP Images

McQueen with the CBE that he received from Queen Elizabeth II during investitures at Buckingham Palace in London.

Dave Hogan / Getty Images

Björk and McQueen backstage at the "Fashion Rocks" event for The Prince's Trust at the Royal Albert Hall on October 15, 2003, in London.

Dave Benett / Getty Images

McQueen and close friend Isabella Blow attend the Tatler dinner at Floriana at Beauchamp Place on March 19, 2003.

Louis Lanzano / AP Photo

McQueen drops his pants to show off his drawers at the finale of his Spring 2000 collection show in New York, September 16, 1999.

Alastair Grant / AP Photo

Models parade around a fairground setting during the Alexander McQueen show at London Fashion in 2001, where he showed his Autumn/Winter collection.

Gus Ruelas, WireImage / Getty Images; Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Gwyneth Paltrow wore sheer Alexander McQueen at the 1997 Oscars. She donned a pair of McQueen's shoes at the premiere of Iron Man in London in 2008—after which they immediately sold out everywhere.

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Daphne Guinness and Alexander McQueen

Remy de la Mauviniere / AP Photo

An employee adjusts the wings on a male model for Givenchy's 1997 spring-summer haute couture fashion collection by British designer Alexander McQueen in Paris, January 19, 1997.