Alexander McQueen’s rise to power was a fashion fairytale all of its own. The East End taxi driver’s son was apprenticed to the Prince of Wales’ tailor Anderson & Sheppard on Savile Row where he infamously scrawled obscenities into the linings of HRH’s suits. He worked with Romeo Gigli, theatrical costumers Angels & Bermans and Koji Tatsuno before Central Saint Martins MA course director Bobby Hilson suggested he enrol. His 92 Jack the Ripper graduation collection thrilled members of the British fashion press, none more so than Isabella Blow who bought the entire collection and adopted McQueen as one of her protégés. McQueen’s bloodline of angular, aggressive tailoring was inherited from MGM costume designer Adrian, Christian Dior and Thierry Mugler. His Highland Rape and The Birds collections used Mr Pearl corsetry to draw in the waist and exaggerate square shoulders and sharp pencil skirts. By 1996 he was named British Designer of the Year and head of Givenchy haute couture. But by 2001 the Gucci Group had acquired a controlling stake in McQueen’s own label and the designer left both Givenchy and LVMH. With the reigns in his hands, McQueen’s eponymous label dazzled Paris with bittersweet theatrical presentations. 2003 saw the launch of his first perfume, Kingdom, in 2004 his men’s ready-to-wear was shown in Milan for the first time followed by McQueen in 2005. By 2006 he launched McQ – Alexander McQueen, a denim-based ready-to-wear for women and men. His 2009 Plato’s Atlantis show, screened on SHOWstudio.com was among his best and most dramatic work. McQueen tragically passed away at the age of 40 in February 2010.