Thursday, February 11, 2010

Alexander McQueen and Me.

Alexander McQueen Fall/ Winter 1998
Me wearing Alexander McQueen in his Show.And my second look in the same show.This morning I was working and someone in the studio yelled: "Alexander McQueen is Dead".
"How strange" I thought...just last night, around 11pm, I was trolling ebay and searched for Alexander McQueen clothes, something I had never done before, I never searched for his clothes before.
Did something in the Universe tell me to think of him ?
When I was looking on ebay, he was alive. As I am writing this, he is dead.
And then I thought about the Alexander McQueen I met in 1998 in London. He gave me my first big break, used me for Fittings in his Studio in London's East End and then he booked me for his show. That show really started me and my career. Suddenly I was in demand in Milan, Paris and New York. I also was a different person back then, fresh out of school in Germany and had been living in London for about 2 months. I thought the world was a better place, I thought that soon I'd be married and have children, I don't know what I thought back then, I thought I could be whatever I wanted.
I was a teenager.
I remember clearly standing in his studio on a rainy gray day, Hip-Hop music blaring from a CD Player on a bookshelf from across the room, me wearing a gorgeous black lace gown with a huge train, feeling nervous and cold in the presence of this young guy in baggy jeans, a ratty old T-Shirt and who had little patience and clearly wasn't easily impressed by me or the dress I was wearing and that he had designed. His name was buzzing from everybody's lips in those days and he was the hottest ticket in town.
He was unhappy with the way the gown looked, something was wrong in his opinion.
I had no idea what he didn't like about it, I thought it was ravishing. Alexander was circling me while talking to the stylist, Katie England. Suddenly he grabbed a pair of big heavy scissors, got down on one knee and cut right into the handmade precious lace right on top of my thigh. I was shocked how determined he was in his decision and felt sorry about the waste of the material. When he was done, the mood lifted, like some kind of pain vanishing. I walked up and down the studio in the new dress, still confused. We were finished for the day and I got dressed, pulling on a pair of trousers my boyfriend at the time had made for me. He saw me in my trousers from across the room and asked me who made them. I told him and added that the boyfriend was a tailor on Savile Row. Alexander loved them and mentioned that he had also trained on Savile Row. Suddenly we had something in common.
I left and later in the afternoon my agency called me to tell me hat I had been scheduled for more Fittings and the Hair and Make-up Test for his upcoming show and confirmed to walk in that show as well.
Sometimes you don't realize when the tide turns, when something in your life takes a different path, something you cannot stop.
This little event I am telling you about changed my life in a major way professionally and personally and I still don't know if it was for the better or worse. But I know that Alexander saw something interesting in me, something that inspired him that day, that show. I got to wear the 2 looks you see in the pictures I posted, one of them was the amazing metal Joan of Arc Dress.
Thank you Alexander, you made my teenage dream come true, gave me an amazing experience that I will be grateful for forever. You thought that I would be the best girl for those dresses that you had put a lot of thought into and the right model to present them to the world.
I met him a few more times afterwards, but we didn't really connect again and that was fine with me since he demanded respect and was not a person (in my mind) that you just have small talk with.
I am sorry you couldn't seem to find happiness and that we won't be able to be amazed by your collections anymore. I am sorry that you didn't find something in the world worth living for.
I wonder what was missing.
You were truly one of a kind and I certainly won't forget you.
This is the dress I mentioned in my story on the Runway.


little augury said...

Ulla dear-this is what makes you and your blog special for me. It is first hand You,all You. A beautiful story about life,love,loss and the roads that take us there. A fitting tribute and your most beautiful post to date. xo.

Ulla said...

Dear Gaye,
Thank you for your encouragement. It is not easy for me to write, english not being my first language, shyness, thinking my stories are boring, introverted personality... whatever it may be.
I am sad today, because this event makes me mourn things that I should have done differently, made more of an effort, been myself more or been not so much me in the past...and how fast time flies and how many times I have not lived in the present and been grumpy for no reason whatsoever. Life is short and sometimes we all feel trapped. It is important to always have hope, to have a little light somewhere inside oneself. It must be so dark when it goes away...
Thanks for being my guardian blog angel.
ulla xox

emma.piele said...

Sorry for your sadness. I should have realized you'd have heard the jungle drums long before my emailing you the notice this a.m. muku

Thea Beasley, formally known as Talitha Love.... said...

Ulla, Thank you for sharing this amazing experience. Beautifully put. Thea

The Zhush said...

Your guardian blog angel LA sent me here, what an amazing first had tribute, and then your comment about the little light, I am so moved by all of this.

Helen James said...

I was also directed here by LA. A beautifully honest and heartwrenching post. Thank you

Mr Christopher said...

Wow, what a coincidence. And how fortunate to have worked with him. Great post. x