It's been over a year since his death. I was crushed when I heard the news. I've never been one for rabid fandom. I've never worshipped celebrities. I'm not even much one for heroes. I admire many people; but I've always been my own person; I don't really go in for idolization.
But I loved Lee McQueen. I had a deep respect for him. He was my favorite designer. As a theatre scholar, his shows have consistently been the most interesting intersection of performance, art (fashion, styling), and commerce. And since he took his life, there has been a little hole in mine. I go back through his old collections, I read old articles, and new ones, looking back on his life every month or so. I heave a heavy sigh, I shed a tear. The world lost an incredible visionary. And as a person who likes to be inspired, it's very melancholy to lose a visionary.
A friend of mine reads the new yorker. I asked if I could have this issue from last year. It's framed on my wall now. Spring/Summer 2008 (above) isn't even my favorite collection (Widows of Culloden and The Girl Who Lived in a Tree still leave me breathless; I love watching the videos of Shalom attacked by the pneumatic paint guns, the dance competition, the chess game as well), but this butterfly hat has always enchanted me. I've seen several versions about, including some multi-coloured ones.
And now, thanks to my brother, who bought me the feather butterflies (alas, couldn't find this model in just red ) for my birthday, I have made one to wear. It's a bit smaller than the original, only because I actually plan to wear this to the University for a normal day of teaching and classes and I wanted to be able to a.) see my students and b.) get through doors without too much trouble.