New York Fashion Week has gotten off to a sad start. 40 years young Alexander McQueen, a celebrated fashion designer, hanged himself in a hotel room yesterday.
I happened to walk past his store in the Meatpacking District, today. It's right near Stella McCartney's store, currently depicting big pixelated signs saying LOVE. Flowers were laid on the pavement and the blind was drawn. As if in sympathy, many other stores in the area were closed, when they'd normally be open - a Friday night at 7pm.
I don't have any McQueen threads - the pricing is stratospheric. But I have occasionally wandered into the store for a poke around. Boutiques in NYC are like mini-museums where you can actually touch the art, try it on, and if you've got the cash, take it home. Imagine trying that with a Picasso!
However, a few months ago I happened to be passing by a building in Chelsea which often has a sandwich board out front advertising warehouse sales - in this case, one for Alexander McQueen. Upstairs, a cavernous room filled with the designer's clothes, deeply discounted. Not deep enough for me, but despite the recession people of all shapes and sizes were leaving with bags and bags of the stuff.
"That's the dress Carrie Bradshaw wore in Sex in the City," said a young woman who identified herself as a fashion business intern at McQueen's head office. Just $3500.
I found a table of cool Alexander McQueen ties, just about affordable, at $200 reduced to $40. I decided to buy one for my beau, but couldn't decide between three of them. I solicited the opinion of several groovy looking guys poring through the racks and got three different recommendations. In the end I bought the one above - in silver as well. That's birthday and Christmas presents for a couple of years!
My beau, an architect, now feels like he has a little piece of wearable art by which to remember a local Chelsea Gallerista.