I remember studying Paul Cezanne's Les Grandes Baigneuses in my Art History class in college and thinking how crazy it must be to have an unfinished work of yours hailed as a masterpiece. I imagine how maybe you'd never in a million years let the world see your work before it was ready and then you died and it hung as a centerpiece in one of the most important museums and you'd have to live with that for all eternity. I thought of this after hearing news that we would still get to see what Alexander McQueen was working on at the time of his death. I wanted to see them, don't get me wrong, but a part of me thought that it wasn't ok (the same way I've never read Kurt Cobain's published journals because I can't imagine that he would've ever ALLOWED that, you know?, but I digress). Would he allow his clothes to be shown in an environment that wasn't 100% exactly what he had envisioned? Probably not, and I know that under normal circumstances we wouldn't have it any other way, but the truth is just too bittersweet, and so we all saw 16 looks that came out of forgotten medieval memories and dusty old paintings that hold secret messages. I think on some level I will always think of spring's amazing underwater fantasy as his swan song. A show that broke all barriers and achieved new levels of inspiration and communication, the one that reminded all of us why we loved fashion so much.
These pictures constitute his entire collection. According to Style.com, they were 80% done at the time of his death. They are beautiful and they are quietly moving, but I feel like I would've felt that way no matter what my eyes saw. I can't look at them just for what they are, I am always reminded of what happened. The photographs themselves are injected with melancholy. In the first look Karlie Kloss wears a beautiful blood-red gilded coat, but she can't bear to look at the camera. There's just something missing.
And that's really all I can say. I see these clothes and they are beautiful, but there's just something missing.