Dear Shaded Viewers,

I, like many others, was deeply shocked and devastated by the news of Alexander McQueen's tragic death. He was a stellar talent, whose rise to fame had been meteoric. McQueen was a fashion hero who was proud of his working-class background and determined to succeed. He set an example for many aspiring designers of his generation when the Gucci Group acquired a majority stake in his own company ten years ago. It proved that commerce and unbridled creativity could actually coexist.

There were no boundaries for Lee. He was a man who found incredible gems in the gloomiest, darkest and most disturbing spheres, forcing his audience to constantly reevaluate the notions of truth and beauty. Death, religion, sex and violence were often dealt with in his work, creating a sense of controversy which was riveting and genuine. His background as a Savile Row tailor gave him the skills to combine aggression with sophistication, something he excelled at in almost every collection.


I was struck to see how models in his last mens' show looked like vampires and ghosts. Was he already feeling like a shadow of himself? Had he lost the will to live after his mother's passing? There are too many collections to remember, too many perfect moments that he managed to create, filled with energy, love and emotion. McQueen also changed the way fashion shows were perceived, putting on rare and intense performances that went far beyond the limitations of the catwalk. Streaming his last womenswear show live on the Internet was another example of his desire to use fashion as a communication tool, making it more accessible and relevant to a broader audience. In a way, he never lost his rebellious streak and kept challenging the status quo, something not many designers actually dare to do today.


You will be sorely missed, but your legacy lives on. Thank you for your genius and generosity.


Philippe Pourhashemi

A freelance fashion writer, consultant and stylist, Philippe Pourhashemi was born in Tehran in 1976. He grew up in Paris, before moving to Scotland to study Foreign Languages. His passions are fashion and culture, as well as music and film. He writes and styles features for Metal in Barcelona, Behind the Blinds in Brussels, Contributor in Stockholm, Veoir in New York and SKP in Beijing. He was named Fucking Young's Editor-at-Large in 2016 and has contributed to ASVOF since 2008, acting as Correspondent-at-Large since 2012. An avid traveler, he likes to explore exotic fashion weeks and unexpected destinations whenever he can.