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Fashion: Alexander McQueen
"Due to the graphic nature of these events listener discretion is advised this episode includes discussions of sexual assault and suicide. is extreme caution for children thirteen. On, March Thirteenth Nineteen Ninety five Alexander McQueen's runways. Show was the hottest ticket in. London. The event situated on the sprawling east lawn of the natural history. Museum was completely sold out. It was a huge night for the rising fashion star. He was only twenty six years old the pressure was on. Backstage McQueen made the final adjustments on several beautiful lace dresses. Suddenly he grabbed pair of shears and slashed them. He instructed an intern to do the same with a knife McQueen's mother screamed and cried, no, don't spoil them. But McQueen wasn't worried about ruining the garments fish was all part of his vision. On the runway battered and bruised models down the ripped dresses, exposing their breasts and underwear the shell and the clothing collection were titled. The highland rape critics responded to the show with rage. They called out McQueen as a misogynist for glamorizing sexual assault and violence. But McQueen insisted the public misinterpreted his intent and the historical context behind the clothes he was making a point. This was a common occurrence throughout his life career and even his death. This is the dark side of a podcast original a show where we will delve into the seedy underbelly of pop culture icons and historical events. We aim to expose the ugly truth behind cultural moments and public figures. We hold most dear proving that there is always more to the story than meets the eye I'm your host Richard and I'm kate you can find all episodes of the dark side of and all other par- cast originals for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream the dark side of for free on spotify, just open the APP tap browse and type the dark side of in the search bar this season. We're digging into fashion from its troubled origins all the way through the never ending churn of fast fashion. Last week, we looked behind the scenes of fashion TV shows like the now defunct Victoria's secret fashion show. Today, we're diving into the life of Alexander McQueen. One of modern fashions most iconic designers his life was rife with darkness right up until it came to a tragic end McQueen was a beloved fashion icon in the nineteen nineties and two thousands celebrities such as lady, Gaga Naomi Campbell and Riana have all walked Hollywood carpets in his glamorous gowns. But behind his masterful designs was a misunderstood genius who battled Complex Trauma Addiction anxiety and depression. Coming up, we'll examine the darkness of Alexander McQueen's early life. This episode is brought to you. By Casper, you're most life changing sleep is about what's underneath with a Casper mattress? You'll get the cooling supportive comfort you need for the most refreshed feeling every morning only at Casper. Dot. com. Throughout the nineties and the two thousands, the world new Alexander McQueen as the hooligan of English fashion he even earned the nickname law voluntary, blah a French expression for an unorthodox successful rookie, and that was the essence of the Scottish fashion icon. McQueen was a highly skilled avant garde designer who relished in breaking all the rules he thought of his clothing art and he let his pieces uis drama on the runway but while his artistry was publicly on display, McQueen quietly struggled with mental illness which affected him and his family early on. Born Lee Alexander McQueen on March Seventeenth Nineteen, sixty nine. He was the youngest of six children as his mother Joyce gave birth his father Ronald had a breakdown. He was checked into a mental hospital in East London. The event had to pervasive effects on McQueen. He developed a strong bond with his mother and he became fascinated with mental asylums. That interest later inspired some of his designs. His father recovered two years later and taught his six. To work hard he expected them to take on steady jobs even as teenagers and despite the emphasis on practical work McQueen kept an active imagination. He expressed himself through clothes early on in Nineteen seventy-two when he was three years old McQueen drew a familiar Disney image on his sister's bedroom wall Cinderella but with a huge and belched gown as McQueen grew older, his interest in fashion only increased he put together his older sisters outfits for them and grew critical of the clothes his mother Joyce bought for him. Instead of being hurt though Joyce encouraged McQueen's interest in fashion. The McQueen family went as far as entering him into a boys beauty pageant at six years old one which he handily won. And while McQueen was crowned the Prince of Pontins, he also nursed a crush on the second place finisher. It was the moment McQueen realized he was gay he kept it a secret from his family at first because his father was homophobic. McQueen once famously said I went straight from my mother's womb onto the gay parade. But his road to self acceptance wasn't as smooth as it seemed. At nine years old, he was allegedly sexually abused by his sister. Janet's husband Terence. At the time Janet had no idea was happening but her husband physically abused her two. On two occasions, hauliers, beatings caused Janet to miscarry. During another incident McQueen's saw haulier tried to choke. Janet. But Karma caught up to him years later, Hull your died of sudden heart attack while driving however the effects of the abuse stayed with McQueen for the rest of his life he felt hurt angry and robbed of his innocence. His emotions caused him too often retreat to what he called the dark place. Additionally, he developed deep-seated trust issues in relationships with other men. The effects of the abuse also bled into McQueen's relationship with Janet. Positively, though he saw her as a strong fellow survivor, he wanted to protect her and other women from harm. Express this vision in the best way he knew how in his clothing designs, he started thinking of the outfits as a kind of armor in his teens. McQueen poured new found enthusiasm into his art classes the only subject where he got an A. His classmates always saw McQueen drawing dresses in a sketchbook ardglass became his second home and sixteen year old McQueen continued to pursue the subject after graduation in. Nineteen eighty-five. That point he wanted to finally turn his drawings into real wearable dresses. Starting that September he studied tailoring at the West Ham Technical College in Stratford. England. The classes help McQueen make his first garments for his sister. Janet they were by no means perfect at least one piece of clothing fell apart. Still he strived for excellence McQueen read books on textiles and experimented with photographing outfits with hard work and persistence his technique improved over time. Soon, his designs were featured in a school sanctioned fashion show his family didn't think much of it. Even Janet didn't attend but his mother Joyce remained supportive even suggesting he could find a potential job to pursue his passion in one, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty, six, they watched a TV news report about an apprentice shortage on savile row London's. District Joyce told her son to go there and apply. Soon after McQueen took London transit to the headquarters of the prestigious Taylor Anderson Shepherd on savile row. Following a short interview, the head salesman hired. McQueen. As an apprentice, his mentor was a master tailor of jackets. He soon drilled padding stitches into McQueen's head over and over it was very tedious work but it honed his sewing skills. While he enjoyed the work McLean felt discouraged by the homophobic remarks of his fellow apprentices. It was a dismissive and derisive culture persisted in savile row shops. The AIDS crisis in the nineteen eighties stigmatized gay men McQueen didn't know many other LGBTQ plus people and felt isolated. The anti-gay statements made him feel ashamed about his identity so he kept to himself and floated from Gig to gig honing his craft with other Taylor's designers in January of Nineteen, eighty-eight he moved onto an apprenticeship at another well regarded Taylor gives and hawks but yet again a year later he left due to the company's homophobic culture before long McQueen, had grown tired of short-term GIG work. He was done being apprentice. He was determined to become a designer in his own right but he wasn't sure how a former boss recommended returning to school to establish his credentials and network. So in October of nineteen ninety McQueen started the fashion masters program at Central Saint Martins an art and fashion school. Fortunately, they considered his previous industry experience equivalent to a bachelor's degree central Saint Martins encourage students to experiment and express themselves classmates and instructors. Recall that McQueen was insatiably curious constantly asking questions he relished in critiquing others work and creating his own. For the first time, he felt like he belonged McQueen drew on dark periods of history for inspiration. As an example, he was obsessed with serial killers both real and fictional. He told his friends he was related to infamous London Murderer Jack. The ripper who slashed the throats of six sex workers in the eighteen eighties McQueen used those. In his final Saint Martin's project attend piece. Clothing Collection. Titled Jack. The. ripper stalks his victims, McQueen called it day into evening where inspired by nineteenth century streetwalkers the clothes came within unexpected personal touch inside the skirts and jackets McQueen sewed his own pubic hair into hidden pockets. Pubic and other personal hairs also covered the collections program booklet. Understandably, attendees were shocked later McQueen explained a common Victorian era practice inspired him back. Then sex workers sold their own hair. Then byers gave those locks to their lovers as gifts. McQueen's said, it was about me giving myself to the collection. It was the first time his offbeat artistry was misinterpreted, but certainly, not the last. However, there was someone in the audience who understood and valued his show influential British Vogue stylist. Bella blow. She offered to buy his clothing collection McQueen was skeptical about her intentions but blow persisted she repeatedly phoned him and his mother. Joyce. Until he relented finally, McQueen gave her a price five thousand pounds. Blow agreed though it was a rich sum of money for her at the time. She, arranged to pay him in installments little did McQueen. No. This one sale would propel him into the worldwide spotlight. Next Alexander McQueen risks failure for his biggest fashion opportunity yet. Park Astor's looking for more lighthearted. Listen than I've got the perfect podcast for you. The new spotify original from park s called incredible feats hosted by comedian podcast. Dan Cummins incredible feats is a daily show spotlighting true accounts of mind-blowing physical, strength mental focus and bizarre behavior. Join Dan. 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Soon, McQueen realized that he and blow were kindred spirits despite her family's wealth. They shared a dark history filled with tragic deaths and suicide like McQueen. She used fashion as an armor and an escape from grim realities as the two grew closer blow began to call McQueen by his middle name Alexander. She thought the moniker sounded more grand for designer and McQueen obliged professionally he started going by Alexander McQueen the twenty-three-year-old designed clothes for blows British vogue photo shoots including one featuring her and her husband. It was a huge opportunity for the novice designer. McQueen's outfits were hit the British vogue spread was published in November of Nineteen, ninety two. But despite McQueen's career milestone, he was still broke twenty-something who lived primarily on unemployment benefits. He kept designing clothes but was desperate to keep his state. Payments his main source of income. Thus, it became an increasingly tricky situation when McQueen started to receive press attention soon, Aski- magazine journalist wanted to write an article about McQueen's clothing. He was excited about the publicity but panicked about a photo of himself being published. He had always been self conscious about his appearance, but he was also scared to lose his benefits. If the UK's Department of Social Security spotted McQueen's photo, they might think he had a steady income after all and cut him off. On the day of the photo, shoot McQueen and the photographer came up with an idea. McQueen wrapped his own face in gaffer's tape. It was an iconic photo that introduced the world to the designer yet allowed him to hide his identity. McQueen continued to peel back his layers through his art revealing a small collection titled Taxi Driver in Early Nineteen Ninety three at the Ritz Hotel In October of Nineteen ninety-three, his next collection was ready. He and his friends hustled to secure the venue and lighting at a low cost and the event turned out to be unlike anything. The industry had ever seen his nihilism collection embraced the eras heroin chic look. But the style wasn't just on trend. McQueen's vision was person all he took inspiration from how his sister Janet survived domestic abuse. The pieces were splattered with Red Dye, mimicking the look of blood during the show, the design critics and photographers on the catwalk. One model gave the audience the Middle Finger. McQueen's vision though was misinterpreted again, journalists called it a horror show while critics renewed accusations that McQueen was a misogynist at the time fashion shows weren't judged as works of art they were simply showcases to sell clothes. McQueen wanted to change that his shows were nearly theatrical. He saw them as a way to make dramatic statements about taboo issues. In this case McQueen. Wanted to show women standing up to and surviving abuse just like his sister despite the backlash customers still wanted to buy his designs from the nihilism show. Especially McQueen's signature pant the BUMSTER dumpsters. The ultra low rise trousers were decidedly seductive and the industry love. Them. In fact, his design kicked off an industry-wide low rise pants trend. McQueen was becoming an icon, but he was still broke. So he had a new goal create more commercial clothing ready to wear outfits with impeccable tailoring McQueen. Did just that in his banshee collection in February of Nineteen, ninety, four in Irish folklore benches were weeping women who are able to predict death McQueen. saw this year as being a strong women in charge and McQueen wanted to channel that mantra into shaping his public life a few days before the show he publicly came out to the Daily Telegraph. Predictably, this move made some waves, his mentor Isabelle blow admonished him for his decision. But McQueen thought she was being old fashioned. He didn't want to hide who he was. He wanted to embrace every aspect of his identity. The fashion industry has long been home to many queer designers and McQueen belonged to a thriving community of other gay men. In the summer of Nineteen ninety-four twenty-five-year-old McQueen fell in love with twenty six year old Andrew Groves after they were introduced by mutual friend Macqueen even hired him to work on his collections. Their relationship was tumultuous and dramatic McQueen and groves drank heavily went clubbing often and fought in public. Additionally, McQueen experimented with drugs and know Andrew has said he never saw McQueen doing them. The designers personality clearly shifted when he was drunk and high. After a few drinks, he'd reveal his darkest thoughts he could get violent any would occasionally disclosed thoughts of suicide, but this aspect of his personality remained largely private under the bright lights the fashion world new McQueen as a jovial rising star McQueen and groves broke up in. Nineteen. ninety-six. But soon, McQueen. Had A new right hand man or woman rather stylist Katy. England? She became his brands creative director. Many people called her McQueen second opinion England worked on McQueen subsequent shows including the contentious highland rape in March of Nineteen, ninety, five, the ripped couture, suggestive nudity and bruised models. made it the designers most controversial yet? The industry was shocked and accused McQueen of glorifying sexual assault on the catwalk but he denied those claims to McQueen. The rape was a reference to the failed Scottish rebellions against English rule in the seventeen hundreds. As a result many scots were evicted by the English his statement as an artist was that England had raped. Scotland McQueen was also taking aim at another designer Vivienne Westwood. In one of her collections, she made a traditional Tartan inspired by her third husband Scott in her show. The British designer highly romanticised eighteenth century Scotland, which angered, McQueen. Tim McLean the era was anything but romantic, and he wanted to make that inescapably clear Westwood took the subtext of the show personally and fought back saying his only usefulness is as a measure of zero talent, which only set the European fashion industry more buzz about the highland rape. Soon, Hollywood embraced McQueen's close to musicians, David Bowie and bjork war. McQueen designs on their album covers and according to his daughter actor Dennis Hopper thought McQueen was a beyond talent genius. mckean was catching his rising star high end American stores, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman stocked his. The prestigious UK Boutique Browns bought his collection and the British fashion awards named him designer of the year. By mid Nineteen ninety-six Twenty, eight year old McQueen was one of the most in demand designers in the world other labels took notice in the fall of that year luxury Paris brand GIOVANNUCCI offered McQueen the plum job of creative director as one of the top management roles in fashion he'd have more influence than ever and McQueen would make four, hundred, fifty, thousand pounds a year more money than he'd ever made. But he didn't jump to see yes he'd have to move to Paris which had a more elitist fashion industry than London. Also, McQueen was never a fan of the label to a friend. He wants called Giovanni dresses horrible McQueen went back and forth for a few days before settling on a decision in October of nineteen, Ninety six, he finally put his reservations aside he accepted the job and moved to Paris. The fashion world and the press were in shock. McQueen was only twenty eight years old and had only made eight collections. His shows were controversial to say the least. Meanwhile. GIVENCHY was elegant luxury brand from Paris. It seemed like a round peg was being forced into a square hole. The Guardian called McQueen a bull in a fashion shop many industry people thought it was all a publicity stunt everyone anticipated that McQueen would fail Giovane she's certainly had high expectations for McQueen. He was responsible for making four collections a year, which was no small task on top of producing two shows annually for his own label. McQueen claimed he wasn't overwhelmed. He said, I, may be quite mad on the public circuit but I've got my head screwed on tight with a wrench for help he hired his favourite collaborators including stylist Katy England. McQueen, even brought on his boyfriend at the time Murray Arthur to help with accounts. The one person missing from that roster was his former confidant Isabella blow while McQueen was thankful for her support he also wanted. To distance himself from blow, she was flighty irresponsible and prone to acting radic one time. She accompanied McQueen and his associate on the Eurostar train to Paris while waiting on the platform blow befriended a young model and convinced her to swap clothes in public blow and the model thought it was hilarious but McQueen was humiliated with the amount of pressure he was under he couldn't count her work to reflect positively on him Giovanni. Blow was devastated by this denial. After all, she was the one who purchased the first collection he ever made. She saw herself as his mentor and number, one fan to her McQueen had callously cast her aside still blow dutifully attended his first Giovanni. She show in January of Nineteen, ninety seven and on that night all eyes were on the designer. Even the models were nervous. The show's theme was the myth of Jason and the argonauts McQueen thought the quest for the Golden Fleece would fit nicely with GIOVANNUCCI zone white and gold label. He even made a concentrated effort to tone down his own style but of course, McQueen couldn't help but include his own small touches. One model wore a gold body suit and a white satin coat with an excessively long train. Another woman on the runway wore a wig made of hair shaped into horns. Other models bared their nipples which were painted gold despite his best efforts. The show was McQueen's signature style not Javan cheese the fashion world called the display to youthful and outrageous for the brand later. McQueen admitted that the designs were bad. His first show for givenchy had failed. And it wouldn't be the only one. Next, Alexander McQueen bounces back, but his mental health takes a precarious turn. This episode is brought to you by Casper you're most life changing sleep is about what's underneath? This is a casper mattress. Inside precisely one, thousand, five, hundred, and one perforations creed cooling system. So effective, you won't be awake to notice. Only Casper mattresses are made with eighty six support of Gel pods to align your spine and eliminate aches and pains. It's The cooling supportive comfort you need for the most refreshed feeling every morning only on a casper mattress only at Casper Dot Com. Now back to the story. In Nineteen Ninety seven twenty eight year, old Alexander McQueen's avangard designs propelled him to the top of haute couture fashion. His success led to an appointment as Yvonne cheese creative director, but his first runway show for the French label was a massive failure. Critics panned the collection as wildly mismatched for the brand. His subsequent givenchy shows didn't do any better for his number thirteen collection. He recruited Paralympic Athlete Aimee Mullins for the show. Both of mullins legs were amputated shortly after birth due to a medical condition and this inspired McQueen to push the envelope. Even further, he designed wooden legs for her that looked like high heeled boots McQueen wanted to empower mullins but many critics accused him of exploitation. mullins herself denied the allegations. She said this notion that I must have been manipulated by Alexander McQueen was so insulting this fiasco was followed by yet another serious accusation. Plagiarism. To college students alleged McQueen stole to dress designs from them and use them for Jeevan she. McQueen denied it to escape from the mounting bad press, McQueen and his boyfriend Murray. Arthur traveled back to their native Scotland. In the summer of nineteen. Ninety seven they rented a cottage in a quiet village cooking and playing dominoes were a welcome change of pace for the hard partying McQueen. But despite the peaceful vacation, McQueen would still have to return to the pressure givenchy and managing his own label. Back in Paris McQueen and Arthur resumed their partying but the relationship became volatile. The couple argued about everything at one point Arthur overdosed on pills vodka and gin, and while he survived the relationship didn't McQueen continued drinking and using cocaine while single by nineteen, ninety eight, he added promiscuous sex to the equation to. His partying even spilled into his professional life in his acceptance speech for an international. Fashion Group Award McQueen said I'm so drunk I can barely even talk clearly something was terribly wrong which was a jarring contrast. Sin Shows for McQueen's own label receiving glowing reviews in the late nineteen nineties. More Hollywood stars like, Kate. winslet DNA OMI Campbell war his designs by two thousand one he was free from his Yvonne contract, which opened the door for Gucci's Tom Ford to buy a stake in McQueen's owned company Ford wanted to open boutiques for the brand all over the world. This was the new McQueen, a global iconic brand. He had conquered England and Europe it was time to take on the world. But despite his accolades and talent he felt that one thing held him back. He was overweight. The fashion industry was filled with glamorous and extremely thin people. McQueen felt like a pariah, but he hoped that his talent would take the attention off of his appearance they might like his designs but fashion critic still ruthlessly mocked his appearance. One critic said McQueen's nickname law Fong Terry Blah should be Ella. Font Terry Blah. Another called him a Walrus. Comments like these only made his body image issues worse he realized that if he wanted to be taken seriously around the world, he needed to do something about it. McQueen knew he needed a more marketable look he envisioned a suave sophisticated appearance like Calvin Klein or Ralph. Lauren and he was willing to take drastic measures like plastic. In order to obtain it, he'd risk his health to be the face of the brand. McQueen booked inexpensive liposuction procedure before his thirtieth birthday but just a year later he gained weight again from his luxurious lifestyle he'd recently married documentary filmmaker George Forsyth in ABC's Spain. The couple and their guests supposedly partied so hard that McQueen never wanted to return to beezer however the marriage ended a year later and McQueen still wanted to lose weight. He hired a trainer yet McQueen's cocaine addiction. made it difficult to maintain a healthy routine? Because he was always on a high or coming down from one, the trainer refused to work with Queen. So he decided on yet another severe measure in two thousand one. Gastric band surgery McQueen lost twenty, eight pounds in the first three months. He was excited about his appearance and finally felt good about himself. But something was wrong. Soon. was undeniably gaunt and Pale the cause was one of the most sobering health issues imaginable. In two thousand and three McQueen came out to friends as H.. I. V. Positive while he managed the virus with medication McQueen still felt tainted. He referred to it as the bug and return to recreational drugs for an escape from his grim reality. Friends estimated that McQueen spent six hundred pounds a day on drugs including cocaine. He also entered into yet another volatile romantic relationship, which was largely based on drugs. Still, the public was none the wiser professionally McQueen was doing better than ever his fashion shows received praise and his clothing sold. Well, he was heralded as an icon privately though McQueen felt like he was losing his closest allies when stylist Katy England left his company to design Kate mosses top shop line McQueen was devastated. Additionally his mother Joyce was experiencing kidney failure and endured dialysis three times a week his former mentor Isabella blow had a mental breakdown as her marriage ended despite their sometimes rocky relationship McQueen paid for her three month treatment. He always felt like blow was a kindred spirit. They had similar demons and insecurities. He felt her pain and darkness. So it pained McQueen. To the point of despair to watch your spiral blow received psychiatric treatment several times over the years by two thousand six she had attempted suicide many times tragically, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just a year. Later he visited her one last time in April of two, thousand seven. During. Visit McQueen was high on cocaine the entire time he convinced himself that they made peace with each other from their conversation. McQueen thought blow was doing. Okay. But blow was reportedly heartbroken to see her successful friend her one time menti addicted to drugs. She could tell he was barely present during their visit. She felt like McQueen let her down. She hoped for more support from him as she battled her own demons shortly after on May seventh two, thousand, seven, forty, eight year, old blow died by suicide. McQueen was devastated to hear the news he felt depressed and saddened to lose his biggest supporter the first person who believed in his work two days after her death. McQueen was so desperate that he believed he had to contact blow in the afterlife. He visited various psychic mediums. He also requested a lock of her hair so he could make a ring McQueen wept throughout blows entire funeral service. He blamed himself for her death and wished he'd done more to help her. He said her passing left a big void in his life blows death cracked open the broader feeling of uneasiness in McQueen's own life. He started to see a psychiatrist who diagnosed him with mixed anxiety and depressive disorder. His many symptoms including fatigue and irritability were clear indicators. But after the diagnosis, McQueen didn't commit to maintaining treatment. He rarely kept his appointments a year later in two thousand eight McQueen's seemed more optimistic. He talked about how blows death inspired him to live life to the fullest. But this all might have been a cover in order to protect his business. After all his brand was booming he opened a Swanky New Los Angeles Boutique on Melrose Avenue and McQueen's deal with Gucci was still going strong. He celebrated his thirty ninth birthday lavishly in new. York. City. With his celebrity friends. But in private McQueen was grappling with his demons more than ever he became fascinated with the afterlife he researched. Marilyn. Monroe's suicide at length. He read Buddhist texts about dying and unexpectedly he gave away a prized possession. McQueen give his on and off again boyfriend archie read several keepsakes including a vintage cartier watch studded with diamonds. When read ask why McQueen said that's to remember me by. He refused to clarify any further. As his fascination with death grew McQueen's lifestyle became more self destructive. He experimented with crystal Meth and engaged in group sex parties. Those highs replaced the joy. He wants felt from his own success. Suddenly, his professional work made him feel empty and hollow McQueen's one celebrated. Gucci deal made the design airfield trapped and unhappy. He expressed this displeasure in his February two, thousand nine show the Horn of plenty. The collection attack the fashion industry the models faces were covered in white makeup. The designs themselves were references to other designers. One dress in particular was made to resemble a raven a symbol for death in many cultures. Sadly, death was at the forefront of McQueen's mind that year in a conversation with a friend, he said he'd already designed his final collection. It was a shocking admission for such a successful designer. Few would consider retiring at the height of their career, but McQueen's plans for the show went beyond shock value they were incredibly troubling. McQueen said in my last collection I'm going to kill myself I'm going to end this. The forty year old designer wanted to stand in a glass box on the runway and shoot himself. McQueen had already drawn up a will and set up a charity to help the disenfranchised a close friend immediately called McQueen's company offices to report his mental state. But a staff member insisted the designer was fine. But these were all placations. McQueen's family clearly saw that he was struggling. His sister Janet tried to talk to him about his drug use. But even during their conversation, he was high and acting radically, he tried to overdose twice in the summer of two thousand nine. McQueen didn't want his mother Joyce to know about his behavior at that point she was dying of kidney failure. He didn't want to worry worrier he even avoided visiting her for periods of time scared to face the severity of her condition in immense pain at the hospital Joyce died on February second two, thousand ten. McQueen. was consolidated when he received word. The thought of attending his mother's funeral was by all accounts too much for him. Nine days later, McQueen had dinner with friends. They were surprised that his appearance he seemed more put together than usual overall the night was pleasant. Afterward, he went home and grabbed a book Vo. Fe. Von linkages the descent of man. McQueen wrote on the back cover. Please look after my dogs. Sorry. I. Love You. Lee. PS Bury me at the church then forty year old McQueen hung himself. His family was in shock and so was the fashion world. Some. Critics blame the industry. The pervasive question was why more wasn't done to help McQueen with his mental health? There had been such clear signs something was wrong but as his own psychiatrist Dr Steven Pereira said it wasn't so simple. McQueen was very secretive and had trust issues. He felt disappointed by many of his friends. But he swung between being overcome by sadness from these issues and pretending all was well. However. His mother's death may have been the final Straw after she passed. He may have felt like he had little to live for. McQueen left behind a fashion empire, a legacy of groundbreaking clothes and dramatic shows yet the immense pressure to innovate despite the success and wealth it brought ultimately. So deeper issues. Money and fame didn't make him happy. Even if the world was wearing his clothes, McQueen wasn't the only modern fashion designer to battle a combination of internal demons, pressure and scrutiny. Eight years later in two thousand eighteen kate spade suicide shocked the industry. Knowing her brands happy go lucky reputation. It was a sobering moment. Like McQueen, she too felt pressured to hide her struggles in order to protect her business. These stories remind us of one striking reality. The glossy -ness of what we see on runways in magazines or social media is rarely an indication of quality of life for Alexander McQueen despite the wealth and fame associated with fashion the clothes he loved so much could not protect him from the harsh realities of the industry. Even fashionable armor has its holes. Thanks for listening for more information on Alexander McQueen amongst the many sources we used we found Alexander McQueen blood beneath the skin by Andrew. Wilson. Extremely helpful to our research next week, we'll be back with the dark side of fashion Nova and fast fashion retailers. We'll explore why having the hottest trends right at your fingertips also means stepping into a revolving door of consequences. You can find more episodes of the dark side of for free on spotify not only does spotify already have all of your favorite music, but now spotify is making it easy. For you to enjoy all of your favorite are cast originals for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker just open the APP and type the dark side of in the search bar will see you next time. The dark side of was created by Max Cutler is a has studios original executive producers include and Ron Cutler sound designed by Nick Johnson with production assistance by Ron Shapiro Carly Madden and Travis Clark. This episode of the dark side of was written by Mallory. Kara with writing assistance by Kate Gallagher and stars Kate Leonard and Richard Rosner. Listeners, you don't WanNa miss incredible feats the all new spotify original from podcast hosts Dan. Cummins free falls straight into the weirdest wildest achievements of all time new episodes air every weekday search incredible feats, and follow free on spotify over ever get your podcasts.