Born in London in 1969, Alexander McQueen shook up the fashion world with his theatrically staged shows of the 90s and 2000s. Avant-garde and provocative, his style oscillates between romanticism and decadence, power and fragility.
At 16, he left school and began training with Saville Row's renowned tailors. He then entered the sacrosanct Central Saint Martins, where in '92 he presented his end-of-year fashion show entitled "Jack The Ripper Stalks His Victims". In the audience, overwhelmed critic Isabella Blow bought the entire collection, becoming his patron and friend.
In 1996, without a house to his name, he replaced Galliano as artistic director of Givenchy. Although his first collection was rejected by the critics, he won the British Designer of the Year award, which he would go on to win four times in the course of his career.
In 2000, he founded his own label, before leaving Givenchy the following year. His Spring/Summer 2002 show "VOSS" or "The Asylum" locked the models in a glass asylum, becoming the first in a series of iconic shows. From "The Girl Who Lived in the Tree" Fall/Winter 2008 to her latest collection "Plato's Atlantis" Spring/Summer 2010 and "The Horn of Plenty" Fall/Winter 2009, her shows assault the viewer with contrasting emotions, intrigue and amaze.
In 2010, following the fatal death of the English designer, Sarah Burton, his right-hand woman of over 14 years, took over the artistic direction of the house.
Barely a year later, she designed the dress worn by Kate Middleton at her wedding to Prince William, and was also awarded Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. She was even awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to British fashion the following year.