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: