Anyone who visited the record-breaking Savage Beauty exhibition will recognise the familiar emblems incorporated into the work of Gary James McQueen. In a tribute to his late uncle Alexander (Lee) McQueen, the 3D graphics expert (and former head of menswear textiles at his uncle’s eponymous fashion label) has created Life, Death and Rebirth, a series of silk-twill evening scarves (£250) and silk-chiffon squares (from £300). I’ve written about Gary James McQueen for the FT. Admittedly, the scarves are How To Spend It prices but I thought this story might be of interest to scarf lovers and McQueen fans alike. And as Gary James McQueen says of his inaugural collection of Italian silk scarves, ‘I wanted to make beautiful things with a high level of quality. To create a unique artwork, a collector’s item.’

The two men worked alongside each other from 2005 until the fashion designer’s death in 2010. ‘Lee was very reluctant to take on a family member, but he gave me the chance to do something I’d never considered. He gave me a direction,’ the graphic designer told me. Shrugging off any calls of nepotism, he continues: ‘I was treated like any other employee; it was a challenging environment – we all worked hard and put the hours in. We lived and breathed the theme of the season and were drawn into Lee’s world. That’s what was so amazing.’

Clearly there’s a certain pressure that comes with carrying the McQueen name forward. ‘It can be quite debilitating at times, and I would never put myself on the same pedestal as Lee,” says his nephew, ‘But he gave me the opportunity to express myself through fashion and I’m taking that forward, building my own stories using digital technology and trying to create art.’

In another nod to Alexander McQueen a small number of the scarves will be sold exclusively at Anderson & Sheppard, the first Savile Row tailor the legendary designer worked for. And online at Gary James McQueen.

Read the full FT feature HERE.

And now for some How Not To Spend Quite So Much silk scarves:

9 thoughts on “Alexander McQueen’s legacy lives on

  1. …or go to your nearest charity shop, they always have interesting scarf squares and even some in silk if you look carefully. I have found several over the years.

  2. I usually shop clothes in a fairly basic way with sparse designs in neutrals, but scarves are a different matter .
    I’m passionate about them , and like these designs by Gary McQueen a lot.
    The chiffon affair far right is especially gorgeous , it’s a collage of nude women arranged in such a way it’s difficult to discern at first glance.
    I ‘ll take a look at this one for sure , price is reasonable for silk chiffon if it’s well finished with hand rolled hems. Shame it’s black, though I guess it expresses the roots of the house .I’d have preferred a deep smoky blue grey because for me a scarf should light up my face.
    Not a fan of black white and red , too harsh for me but the design is great too.

    1. Zanna, if you are passionate about silk scarves you should check out Lou Gardiner as well (an inspiring embroiderer whose uplifting work adorns A & E at my local hospital). As with these, you would be wearing a stunning piece of art. They are simply the most beautiful things.

  3. These are really beautiful and a great tribute to his uncle’s work – clearly a talented young man. I love anything with skulls.

  4. Those are exceptionally beautiful. Wish they’d do some in silk/cashmere knit – I don’t care for classic silk scarves, too lady for my style.

  5. A beautiful scarf. And, interesting because the artwork is both original and computer generated, as are many fabric designs today, but this one has an especially digital look to it — maybe that’s just the grey tones. Anyway, I’m glad that high end work continues, these are treasures for all of us to enjoy.

  6. Another interesting feature here. Yes I was lucky enough to see Savage Beauty at the V and A museum in spring 2015. Such a wonderful installation which highlighted how extraordinary these clothes were. A work of art in itself including hologram of Kate Moss in one of McQueens gowns. This show originated at the Met a few years earlier. Curated by Andrew Bolton. There’s a fascinating documentary lurking in the bowels of Netflix about the follow up show on Chinese art and costumes. Worth searching for this under Documentaries. Later I bought a book at V and A in their bookshop about McQueen and his vision. I’ve just spotted this on Amazon. I also picked up a biography in Amazon. The vision of London when he was a student at St Martins art college following his apprenticeship in Savile row tells of another era of squats and cheap rents and costs of living in now unaffordable but then fringes of London. I remember the dirty messiness of the city then.
    I never owned any McQueen. I hesitated over a silk chiffon scarf in the Bicester Village boutique. This was shortly before he died.

    Great that his apprentice and nephew is now trying his hand at scarf design. Good luck to him. As a reader of the weekend FT, the best arts coverage of all, I enjoy the beautiful fashion pages in the colour magazine. Continue this range of journalism Alyson. Why not ?!

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