Six years after his passing, Alexander McQueen remains one of the world’s iconic designers. His revolutionary fashions were both shocking and impressive, from the “bumsters” of his debut 1993 collection to the bloody rendition of his Scottish heritage in the controversial Highland Rape show. Alexander McQueen: Unseen (Yale, $65), by Robert Fairer, brings us a little closer to McQueen’s earliest runway shows, which, dating to pre-social media years, were difficult to see. In this rich book of images, Fairer, a backstage photographer for Vogue, replicates the experience of each and every Alexander McQueen runway. He briefly describes the context, the atmosphere, the sounds, and the lights of each show, then transports us to a front-row runway seat, telling us what it was like to actually be there and see McQueen’s work first-hand. The photographs are vibrant and expressive; with details from old film negatives, Fairer juxtaposes one picture against another, mimicking the action of the runway. He intersperses full-frontal fashion shots with varied angles and backstage views of the models laughing together with makeup smeared over their eyelids. This book is a gorgeous tribute to McQueen’s artistry and theatre and a perfect addition to any fashion lover’s bookshelf.
Alexander McQueen: Unseen - Robert Fairer, Sally Singer