Lee Alexander McQueen – 1996 Runway Show “Dante”


Alexander McQueen has been a household high-fashion name as of the last 3 decades, becoming universally known for its famous skull prints & medieval-inspired garments. Though back in 1992 London England, the late Lee Alexander McQueen was nothing more than a tenacious young fashion student graduating in his final year. It is here at St. Martin’s school in London, where McQueen would create his initial fashion line & meet Isabella Blow, who would propel him to stardom. ⁣⁣⁣⁣
“Issie” Blow was an English magazine editor and influential fashion advocate. In 92’ and the following years to come, Blow would employ McQueen, connect him with moguls in her elite fashion circles throughout London & NYC and famously advise him to shorten his name from Lee Alexander McQueen to simply “Alexander McQueen”. These new connections and resources would prepare McQueen for his invigorating burst into the UK/Global fashion scene, which would come in the form of his A/W 1996 Runway show “𝘋𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦” at Christ’s Church in Spitalfields, London. ⁣⁣⁣⁣
The show took place at a pivotal time in UK fashion, where many designers were being flagged for being redundant or played out. Never one to shy away from making a political or controversial statement, McQueen hosted the show at a vacant candle-lit church; he believed religion was at the heart of all wars. The show would go on to cement the late McQueen’s place in mainstream designer fashion, pioneering fresh ideas and pieces such as the ‘𝘉𝘶𝘮𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳’ pants and bleach-stained denim. Contrary to popular shows of the time, Alexander brought the theatrics and cinematic element of fashion back to life in his runways. Incorporating modern music, Broadway-like story telling and ridiculous satire, McQueen created an exciting experience that Londoners had been deprived of; and they were hooked. ⁣This unique style and confidence would eventually lead him to steer the creative ship at Givenchy, as well as win 4 British Designer of the Year awards between 1996-2003.