I‘m going to go out on a limb here–and waaaay out of my comfort zone–by introducing you to two concepts about myself.
The first, as you may already know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, is that my brother took his own life in October 2009, and the second is that I am, in fact, a very spiritual person. I believe in life after death, past lives, and our late loved ones’ continual presence around us. Since my brother’s passing, my mother created a blog in which she explores spirituality and life after death. The blog (which I created for her and customized) is called Channeling Erik, and it has become quite the phenomenon–Shirley Maclaine is a reader. (Any fellow Steel Magnolias fans out there?)
I asked my mother to see if, during one of her channeling sessions with Jamie Butler, an amazing psychic medium, she could call forward Sir Lee Alexander McQueen, my favorite fashion designer, to see what his thoughts are about fashion, his life, and beyond.
Below is the direct transcript from the recording itself. Continue on to read and to learn what Alexander McQueen has to say to the world he left behind in 2010.
My mom (Elisa): Well I suppose since we just ended off the last conversation talking about fashion, we can bring forward my daughter Kristina’s favorite, Alexander McQueen. Have you heard of him?
Jamie (the psychic medium): Me? No.
Elisa: Alexander McQueen, he was apparently a big–I think he was British–fashion guru. Maybe he’s available?
Jamie: Well he just looks like “average Joe”! I think I was expecting, with a name like that, something very extraordinary. And yes, he is British, he has quite the accent!
Elisa: Hello Mr. McQueen!
Alexander McQueen: Good day.
Elisa: My daughter, Kristina Medhus, adores you.
Alexander McQueen: Yes, thank you, she calls on me a lot.
Elisa: She worships you! She’s got a blog called Pretty Shiny Sparkly and she’s doing very well with it so far.
Alexander McQueen: Yes, I’m very proud of her.
Elisa: Aw, good! Well I guess you know we’re going to ask you a few questions, for you to give your wisdom to the world.
Jamie: He’s kind of humble! Like, you said “wisdom to the world” and he kind of smiled and dropped his chin down, like, “Me?”
Elisa: First of all, what was your spiritual mission here? Including, what were you here to learn and to teach?
Jamie: (long pause) It–it’s funny when he talks. He doesn’t really make eye contact with me. He kind of…looks up and away? You know like how, people do when they think or something–and so he’s talking…but you don’t feel like he’s talking to you. It’s just different.
Alexander McQueen: I don’t know if fashion would be so much addressed as spiritual in nature, but for me it was. It was the only way I knew how to express myself. And my fashion is very non-traditional. I was never wonderful at painting, but I found that I was an excellent sculptor, and that’s what led me into fashion. There was nothing in my life that encouraged me to go–
Jamie: (interrupts, to Alexander) co-teer? I’m–I don’t know what you’re saying, I’m so sorry.
Elisa: Is he saying couture, maybe?
Jamie: YES! Couture! Oh, yes, that’s probably it.
Alexander McQueen: There was nothing in my life that encouraged me to go couture. Spiritually, I believe what I came to do was, not break any rules or show off that you can be a successful gay man–or even a man in design, in a woman’s world–but for me, it was much more about being able to explain who I was. And still, I feel I failed a lot.
Alexander McQueen: So many of us can find exactly what we want to do in life and succeed so well at it, that we feel it should fulfill every need that we have in our lives. So, why should we feel disappointed, or not be able to speak up, or say who we are on the inside? Because we’ve done this wonderful thing–and we still are–and that’s where I vastly went wrong. I started shutting down and just became more of a performer. My work became more of a performance and feeding that emotional side to myself.
Jamie: Erik’s saying that he also committed suicide?
Elisa: Oh, okay. Aw…
Jamie: Not telling me how, but…
Elisa: I think, I think he probably did, that rings a bell. Okay. Aw. What were you here to learn, then, Mr. McQueen?
Alexander McQueen: I know I was here to learn personally that success does not equal happiness.
Elisa: Mmhmm. It depends on what kind of success you’re talking about, I guess.
Alexander McQueen: For me it would be success with money and career. It’s such a misfortune because it’s presented to our kids that it would be successful if you have now what you did not have growing up, that it will fulfill those holes and those divots that were created. It’s not accurate.
Jamie: It sounds like he did not have the support growing up or the money growing up, the way that he’s putting it, kind of like average-to-lower standards of living. 
Elisa: Aw. Were you here to teach anything, Mr. McQueen?
Alexander McQueen: I don’t believe I was here purposely to teach in a larger capacity, but I know I taught a lot to the poeple that were around me. Especially to my models, the people who wore my clothes. I definitely taught them how to be themselves, and not surrender.
Erik: What do you mean “surrender”, sir?
Alexander McQueen: Surrender to the disappointment that we create in our own head. That we don’t look good enough. That we’re not shaped right.
Erik: Right, you dealt a lot with image.
Alexander McQueen: EVERYTHING in my life, in my career, was about image. I fought really hard to show my models that it really was not about image, this was just the career we were in.
Elisa: Exactly. Now, did you gain any insights?
Jamie: (laughs) He said, when you said “gain any insights” he immediately said that he gained weight. After his passing. He says that he was just able to finally nourish himself! That’s the first time I’ve seen him giggle and really smile about something.
Elisa: Aw, good! So, you got pretty thin toward the end?
Alexander McQueen: It fluctuated. I put it on and lost it, put it on and lost it.
Elisa: So after you passed, did you gain any insights when you looked back on your life?
Alexander McQueen: I gained that I personally was a slow grower. And I saw the people that I grab hold of, that I thought would be a mentor or help me keep stable, were in fact very unstable people themselves. But it was the only kind of person I knew. It was the only kind of comfort I could find.
Elisa: Were they people in that industry, as a whole?
Alexander McQueen: No, I’m talking about the individuals I let very close to me. And when I would have trouble backing away from that connection–because I could quickly then see that it was a wrong choice–the confusion is, when somebody’s trying to get out of a hole, or when somebody feels incomplete, they often grab other people who are in the same hole, or who are just as incomplete as them because it is a familiarity. There’s this need to be uncomfortable [by moving away from those who enable you] so you can find someone who’s not in the same hole as you. Where you’re incomplete so you can find someone who is complete.
Elisa: Oh, yes, I see. Do you have any messages or advice for any one individual, or for humanity as a whole?
Alexander McQueen: If you’re going to present yourself to one person, to a media, to a group, you need to show the entire package. Of how you feel, who you strive to be–if you cannot do that, then you should not be presenting yourself. To not have the strength to really share who you are, you in turn become a liar. You misrepresent yourself.
Elisa (to Jamie): Does he seem sad?
Jamie: Kinda! It’s not….it’s more serious than sadness. Very overly focused and grounded. He’s very intense.
As you can see, Alexander McQueen was a deeply spiritual person (as many biographies have noted) but he had a very dark side to him, an intensity, and it’s apparent from this conversation that he had many regrets about not being more open with himself and with others. To learn more about Alexander McQueen’s collections, you can visit The Met’s blog page dedicated to his exhibition, Savage Beauty, which became the most popular exhibit in the history of The Met. You can also visit the official Alexander McQueen page for full runway collection videos.
Thank you very much to Mr. McQueen for letting us hear your wisdom, and thank you to my brother Erik for finding him and bringing him to all of us.
Elisa: Any more questions? Anything else you’d like to say before we part ways?
Alexander McQueen: Thank you for giving me my time. I wish you all the luck. Do tell your daughter that I come in from time to time.
Elisa: Aw, what do you think about her site, any advice for her?
Alexander McQueen: Keep it clean, keep it simple, and she won’t go wrong.
This is a deeply personal matter to me, so I would appreciate you restricting your comments to only the neutral/positive in tone. It is likely that anything you say that can be even slightly misconstrued as negative will probably play off as much worse in my head. I’m only being honest! So, please keep my feelings in mind when you post your comment.
That being said, your feedback does mean a whole lot to me. I would love to know if you also believe in life after death, that I’m not the only one out there–that I’m not crazy.
Although, I hope you did indeed like this, I felt it very inspiring, his words of wisdom and how he felt he went wrong with his life (not showing all of his many dimensions to the world, only focusing on expression through his designs). Please feel free to share this with others. xoxo
1 — On February 11, 2010 McQueen was found hanging by his housekeeper. His death was announced later that afternoon. He left only a note that said “Look after my dogs, sorry, I love you, Lee”. reference
2 — McQueen’s family was primarily working-class; he was the youngest of six and they lived in modest public housing (called council flats), the son of a taxi driver and social science teacher. reference
Long Live McQueen