In Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy (Harper Design, $35), Judith Watt presents an illustrated biography of one of fashion’s greatest contemporary designers, a man with enormous vision who was challenged by personal demons. Watt shows how McQueen, the youngest son of a taxi driver and a teacher, was a man of contradictions— tenacious yet uncertain in his ambitions, charming yet a compulsive liar who delighted and encouraged the many apocryphal stories that surrounded him—and reveals how McQueen’s designs reflect a similar tension between extremes. Known for his flamboyant and theatrical runways, McQueen pushed himself to create new silhouettes and to combine fabrics and styles in innovative and avant-garde ways. From bumster pants to the Armadillo shoe, Watt’s intimate portrait proves that McQueen’s impact on contemporary fashion design is undisputed.
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