It's been seven months since renowned fashion designer Alexander McQueen (born Lee Alexander McQueen) took his own life at his London home. He was just one month shy of his 41st birthday.
Some of the world's biggest stars have donned some of McQueen's most dramatic styles on the red carpet, including Nicole Kidman, Gwen Stefani, Sandra Bullock, and Lady Gaga. Just over a week ago, about 1,200 colleagues and friends, including Sarah Jessica Parker and Vogue's Anna Wintour, attended a memorial service in his honor at London's St. Paul's Cathedral.
Björk was also in attendance and sang Billie Holiday's "Gloomy Sunday" in tribute to her longtime friend and collaborator. She shares some of her fondest memories of McQueen at GQ UK and on her personal blog:
"I felt Lee's raw connection with nature and birth and death was very refreshing. When I moved to London, being from Iceland, I sometimes found the self-importance in the UK's obsession with the decay of its empire boring, to insist the whole world is dying with them. This urban apocalyptic aesthetic is still a bit overdriving, a bit teenage really… it mostly just reveals its impotency.
“Lee had so many ideas that he overcame this dilemma with fertility, raw gusto, sense of fun and courage. He was the kind of daredevil that looks death and birth straight in the eye. Lee managed to connect not only with the civilized part of his culture but somehow channel beyond that a more primordial energy, which is probably where me and him met.
“Even though we were very different, we had in common taking inspiration from nature: building from there just gave you way more options! Even though we have our neighborhoods fading with pollution, we still have the energy of this solar system driving us through with more explosive power, fuel and potential than there ever was…it’s all there for you and Lee knew that.”
McQueen's most recognizable work with Björk is his icy-cool cover art for her fourth album, 1997's critically-acclaimed Homogenic. He also directed the wildly imaginative video for Homegenic's fourth single, "Alarm Call." Her extraordinary bell-shaped gown featured in the video for "Who Is It (Carry My Joy on the Left, Carry My Pain on the Right)," the second single from her 2004 effort, Medúlla, was also created by McQueen.
Björk – "Alarm Call"
Björk – "Who Is It (Carry My Joy on the Left, Carry My Pain on the Right)"