Lee Alexander McQueen, Innovative Fashion Designer, Dies at 40

Model in a white gown is closed in upon by robotic spray guns which seem to maul her with black and yellow paint as she spins deliriously. This was created by Lee Alexander McQueen.

Model in a white gown is closed in upon by robotic spray guns which seem to maul her with black and yellow paint as she spins deliriously. This was created by Lee Alexander McQueen.

Please see follow-up story here.

Lee Alexander McQueen, one of the world’s most innovative, creatively independent and controversial fashion designers, was found dead in his London home Thursday morning. British press is reporting that he committed suicide about one week after his mother’s passing; the cause of death was hanging.

McQueen was born under the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction of 1969 that created many iconic events. This chart is rated by Astrodatabank as "C" which means use caution when applying this information. The data is published but its original source is not known, and the datum is unverified. In my opinion it is an accurate image of the subject.

McQueen was born under the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction of 1969 that created many iconic events. This chart is rated by Astrodatabank as "C" which means use caution when applying this information. The data is published but its original source is not known, and the datum is unverified. In my opinion it is an accurate image of the subject.

Like much else that happened in Lee’s birth year of 1969 (Woodstock, the Moon landing, the Manson murders), McQueen was iconoclastic and yet became an icon. His designs were favorites of such stars as Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady¬†GaGa, Rihanna, Bjork¬†and Cheryl Cole.

McQueen was a Pisces Sun, Moon and Mercury: deeply sensitive, intuitive, receptive, feminine and creative. His body was found hours before Venus ingressed Pisces.

Despite his sensitivity, other factors suggest not just the ability to tolerate controversy but a passion for it, even though it took its toll on him. An avid explorer of the dark side, if his life was an exploration of the edge, it was an inner edge that he subsequently expressed in his work.

The Times of London said in his obituary Thursday night: “His tastes were eclectic. He had an apparently effortless ability to move between the low culture of the ‘bumster’ trouser, via outrageous confections which envisaged women metamorphosing into reptiles, to essays in haute couture that pointed to his early apprenticeship in pattern cutting, and demonstrated that when he wanted to, Alexander McQueen could drape the female form with consummate art and grace.”

Not surprisingly, his chart is focused on the Aries Point, indicating his astonishing level of influence in the world. Aries Point charts personalize collective issues and tend to broadcast individuals into the collective. His lunar nodes — which have a similar property on their own — are precisely aligned with the first degree of Aries/Libra. His south node is clustered with the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, suggesting an incredible inheritance of talent from prior incarnations. Chiron is on his North Node, illustrating how he would inevitably use that talent in a highly individualistic way, letting nobody dictate his course.

An official photo of Lee McQueen.

An official photo of Lee McQueen.

He was no doubt feeling the pressure of the approaching repeat of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aries, closely opposite his own, coming in early June. As well, transiting Pluto in Capricorn was pushing on all of those Aries/Libra points and planets.

McQueen was openly gay, something he is said to have known about himself from age six. He described coming out at a young age: “I was sure of myself and my sexuality and I’ve got nothing to hide. I went straight from my mother’s womb onto the gay parade.” This offers a clue to his emotional proximity to his mother, and a check of his progressed horoscope indicates that her death was indeed the influence that seems to have pushed him into deep enough despair to have lost contact with reality.

Numerous factors in his chart suggest an unusual sexuality. On first look one sees Pisces planets in the 5th house (risks, creative endeavors, sex play, pleasure and concealed karma), in true Pisces style suggesting an imagination as vividly erotic as it was artistic. Chiron in nearby Aries was continually pushing this into the realm of experience; in other words, fantasy was clearly not enough. He was obsessed by making his ideas real.

Only a Pisces: one of McQueen's outrageous designs for women's shoes.

Only a Pisces: one of McQueen's outrageous designs for women's shoes.

Yet his Venus-Saturn conjunction reveals a sense of being trapped in something — perhaps a male body — and his Nessus-Vertex conjunction in the 8th house illustrates a deep connection to the dark side, giving him a fated quality that he danced with constantly. This is someone who walked with one foot in the land of the living and one in the realm of the dead, and felt comfortable doing so.

My sense is that he viewed women as dark and unfathomable (Black Moon Lilith square the lunar nodes) and his life and fortunes seemed to hinge on this fact.

With this astrology, it would not be easy for him to maintain his stability under extreme stress, and my hunch is that when toxicology reports are available (if they are made available in England) we will, once again, see prescription drugs implicated. This is visible with his Pholus at 27+ Aquarius, right where the Moon, Sun, Chiron and Neptune will be meeting on Saturday.

As the years go by, McQueen and his ideas are likely to be elevated to the stature of high art, and he will continue to influence many generations of young designers: facts that may be of little comfort to his friends and family today, but which will no doubt be of great consolation in years to come.

Slip-Slidin' Away
Eric Francis

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8 Responses to Lee Alexander McQueen, Innovative Fashion Designer, Dies at 40

  1. Pingback: Astrology Blog, Monthly Horoscopes, Weekly Horoscopes, | Lee McQueen Astrology, again | Astrology Blog, Weekly Horoscopes, Monthly Horoscopes, Eric Francis, Planet Waves

  2. Len Wallick Len Wallick says:

    re “only a Pisces”. Can’t say what it would be like to actually wear them, but from a distance those shoes look kinda cool.

  3. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    That Chiron-Node-Aries is indeed primal, but informed by the Jupiter-Uranus-Libra aesthetic on the South Node; and the technical side — the research junkie and the Saville
    Row tailor is shown in the Virgo alignment — as is his fuck you attitude — all those retrograde Virgo planets including Virgo in his 11th house.

  4. alexandra3465 says:

    p.s. just one last thing: he was also at the height of his creative output. the men’s collection he showed last month earned raves, as had his last women’s collection. he was absolutely on an artistic roll. that’s what makes it so much harder to accept, while also serving as a reminder that doing brilliant work does not always mean being able to live inside your own skin. god bless him.

  5. alexandra3465 says:

    i’m a fashion journalist who had the good fortune to interview the guy once. he had a terrible reputation with the press, mainly because he was so provocative and un-square. i found him delightful. charming, naughty, extremely clever, and so utterly dedicated. he had a huge brain, he was a research junkie and had a really unique set of aesthetic obsessions. i am a huge HUGE fan of his work, both on the runway and on my back. how unsurprising to see chiron on the north node considering how unusual his background was for his field, and also how much he wore his working class outsider status like a badge of honor. he was brash and also very vulnerable and i guess very wounded too. there was never any doubt how hard he worked.

    i wonder if that chiron placement would have been seeds of the recurrence of animals and beasts in his work too. he loved to adorn women with dead birds, horns, fish scales, bones. his work was like this spooky alchemy: he made strong, fierce, sometimes terrifyingly primal clothes inspired by turn of the century biology, his own scottish ancestry, the savage side of the natural world and cutting edge technology. (he was, if i’m not mistaken, the first major designer to livecast a runway show.)

    there was never anything weak or retiring about his vision of femininity and what he wanted to help women express. he celebrated the dark witch in all of us. (not kidding about the witch: he once dedicated a collection to an ancestor from his mother’s side alleged to have been burned at the stake. it was panned by many as being gross and appreciated by some. i sat in the audience of the show with my mouth open, eyes wide, transfixed as always.)

    his manner of constructing clothes could be prosthetic and poetically grotesque and still comfortable. he was all about flesh and blood and nature, and twisting and appropriating those things to give them extraordinary, confrontational glamour.

    there are a lot of male fashion designers out there who create a lot of different kinds of visions of women for women to consume. some are sympatico; many of them are total pussies. mcqueen was on a whole other level. he was one of the only guys to run *toward* the primal side of women, not away from it. i was just saying to a friend of mine that comparing a designer like marc jacobs to mcqueen would be like comparing holding hands while buzzed on vicodin to having period sex while playing with guns. plus the guy could cut a pair of pants better than just about anyone else going.

    as someone who works in his field, but not in any way a personal friend, i’m gutted by his suicide. he was one of the few people out there who was consistently inspiring and daring and excellent and moved things forward and made people think and *feel.* i rooted for him always. season after season i know i’ll miss his vision and his work so much. we need more guys like this. but sadly, they just don’t come around very often.

  6. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    From that link: a quote from the Washington Post obit

    “The death of designer Alexander McQueen strikes at the fashion industry’s creative core, not because he had the most lucrative business or because he launched the greatest number of trends that trickled down to suburban malls. Instead, McQueen represented the kind of volatile imagination that transforms clothes into a cultural tapestry, intensely personal therapy and political provocation.”

    I had never heard of him until yesterday — but I recognized his work from Bjork.

  7. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    This certainly puts things into perspective. My take is that the reason for the silence is that his death was a suicide. There is still a taboo.

  8. phall phall says:

    Very sad. Here’s a link to a photo of flowers at his Melrose Ave store from earlier today.

    http://laist.com/2010/02/11/small_memorial_at_alexander_mcqueen.php?gallery0Pic=2

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