July 23 2014 Latest news:
by Amie Keeley
Sunday, March 30, 2014
A memorial honouring the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen has been put up at his former home in Highbury.
More than 60 people attended a ceremony to see members of his family unveil a green heritage plaque.
The designer, who lived in Aberdeen Road from 2001 to 2005, took his own life in 2010, aged 40, following the death of his mother.
He was known for his outlandish and theatrical runway shows which sometimes courted controversy and earned him the nickname “L’enfant terrible” in the fashion world.
McQueen, who was christened Lee but used his middle name as a designer, was born in Lewisham and raised in Stratford.
He lived in Islington for about five years before his death and his offices are in Clerkenwell Road.
His People’s Plaque was organised by leader of the Liberal Democrat group in Islington, Cllr Terry Stacy, using cash from the council’s Local Initiatives Fund.
“I knew Lee well,” Cllr Stacy said. “He was down to earth, straight-talking and community-orientated.
“He loved living here in Highbury. He was one of the country’s leading fashion designers who no one can deny has had a lasting influence over the industry.”
Among those attending the unveiling on Saturday were McQueen’s siblings, his nieces and nephews, as well as former college mates from Central Saint Martins.
McQueen’s sister, Jan McQueen, said: “Lee was a very down-to-earth, humble person. What he achieved for an East End boy was unbelievable. We miss him every day.
“But his legacy goes on and we are feeling really proud.”
Having worked as chief designer for Parisian fashion house Givenchy from 1996 to 2001, McQueen established his own label and was named British designer of the year four times.
Some of his memorable creations include the sky-high, jewel-encrusted armadillo heels worn by Lady Gaga in her music video for Bad Romance and the ivory bridesmaid dress worn by Pippa Middleton at her sister’s wedding to Prince William.
Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, said: “With Alexander McQueen, we are very pleased to welcome Islington’s latest addition to the growing roll of honour marking the special people, places and events which have shaped our borough.
“McQueen’s legacy has inspired a new generation of designers and his distinctive label can still be found on the backs of actors and catwalk models.”