I recently watched a documentary about (arguably) one of the most talented designers of our time—Alexander McQueen—who took his own life in 2011. His out-of-this-world creativity paired with incredible tailoring skills, were his genius.
The documentary about his life gave me a lot to think about, as a designer. Here was a man who had the kind of talent that most of us only dream about, yet his life story revealed a dark reality that became apparent in his theatrical fashion shows that—while entertaining to audiences—were often saturated with violence and darkness. His models more frequently resembled victims of abuse, than vessels of style and grace.
Learning more about this talented man’s life and tragic ending reinforced my belief that with great talent also comes great responsibility.
There comes a point in your life, where you’re faced with a choice—with two paths—in the world of fashion, these paths are apparent. When I was graduating from the Fashion Design program, back in 2001, I was at a high risk of taking the path of least-resistance that sought to conform. That’s when my life/career path took an unexpected detour—I was convinced that my dream of designing was shattered.
Fast-forward to 2014—I’m still designing—only this time with a clear purpose to cultivate beauty in women’s fashion. It may have taken 13 years to get to this point, and may take another 10 for Duchess Kate to wear one of my designs (that’s my dream!), but I think it’s worth the wait and every step on the rocky path.
This brings me to my original point—every single person has a unique gift, that’s been entrusted to them to develop and grow—whether it’s designing, building, teaching, counselling, leading, nursing, etc.—and with that talent/gift comes a responsibility and choice of how you’ll use this gift—whether for the good and betterment of those around you, or towards a lesser good.
To illustrate the above, I’d like to conclude with a couple of designs—the first one is from 2001—before I took the time to search for and discover my purpose as a designer. The second one, is one of my latest designs that I believe embodies what I stand for today, as a designer.