Book Review: Alexander McQueen: Genius of a Generation

Book: Alexander McQueen: Genius of a Generation by Kristin Knox. Published by A&C Black 2010.

Pros: The pictures are large and lovely.

The book is around $20, cheap for a fashion book.

Cons: This book is a newspaper obituary when we want a full on memorial.

No Oyster Dress (left)? Many important looks in the evolution of his design and career peaks were left out. Meanwhile, some of the pieces were pictured twice.

Many typos on the years.

The writing is repetitive, and there's little here you can't learn from Wikipedia or the original Guardian article so frequently referenced. Heck, this blog post by a British economics student has more info and pics, and I'm certain he had less access than the author of this book.

There's little explanation of what the idea behind the show was or what the spectacle of a show was.

At least nine main seasons are missing,including "The Golden Shower", the show with water on the runway, and "The Overlook". Only one image from any of the Resort shows pops up (and it's tossed in with another season); Pre-Fall is completely ignored. Menswear got two pictures; McQ got nothing. If you expect more than one image per show, this list would be even larger.
All these shows were left out.

What I really want from a book on McQueen:
  • Original sketches
  • Photos of his workshop
  • Quotes from people he worked with including his head seamstress and Sarah Burton
  • A list of influences
  • Photos of dresses on mannequins with the drama and makeup striped away
  • Shoe, bag and jewelry shots
  • A full address of the misogyny accusation
  • A detailed rundown of each collection
  • Shots of runway to store translations
  • More info about his time at Givenchy
  • If someone thought to put together a dvd of his runway shows, the fashion loving public who've collectively dreamed of attending such an event would be forever grateful.
  • Comments

    Unknown said…
    I've just recieved this book and think it's amazing, but now that I've read your review I realize how little information there really is in it and how many pictures are missing. Thanks for your review- it's really interesting.

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