Alexander McQueen on Tim Lewis

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Alexander McQueen by Maurits Sillem
Alexander McQueen by Maurits Sillem

From the AnOther Magazine archive, we resurface this revealing insight from the late British designer on collecting art

"When I buy art, I don't give a shit who it's by, it's just whether it appeals to my imagination. This is a piece by an artist called Tim Lewis that I bought at an art fair at the Business Design Centre in Islington near where I live. It's a strobe light box and inside there are all these funny little wax men. There are loads of them in a circle. When the strobe light is on it looks like they're moving, like an army. It's fantastic. In fact, I think I can feel a show coming on. Hahahahaha."

"When I buy art, I don't give a shit who it's by, it's just whether it appeals to my imagination" — Alexander McQueen 

It's safe to say that all the necessary ingredients for a quintessential McQueen extravaganza are in place. The designer has made something of a career out of creating elaborate mise en scenes in place of conventional catwalk presentations by now. He is also not averse to encasing his subjects in boxes of his own design, investing them with a remote, other-worldly appeal. Autumn/winter 2000 featured a larger-than-life-size snowstorm in which models skated on ice. Spring/summer 2001 offered up a mirrored cube which, when the lights went up, transformed into a padded cell. Now 35, McQueen today heads up one of fashion's most influential global brands. Perhaps it is the memory of his days as a nascent designer struggling to make ends meet that inspire him to support others with less obviously high profile careers? "No way!" he says, roaring with laughter, this is not a man who might generally be described as sentimental. "I fucking suffered. So should they." 

This feature originally ran in the Spring/Summer 2004 issue of AnOther Magazine.