Waplington: McQueen was complex
Nick Waplington believes Alexander McQueen was a "complex man".
The designer was one of the most successful of his time but shocked the world when he committed suicide in 2010.
Before his death, the fashion star collaborated with artist Waplington, who documented the process behind McQueen's final Autumn/Winter presentation, Horn of Plenty, in 2009.
The results will be exhibited at Tate Britain, UK, from now until May 17.
Now Waplington has opened up about his late friend.
"I think there was a duality to him. He was a complex man," he explained in an interview, led by Maïa Morgensztern and broadcast on French Radio London on Wednesday. "There was a kind of very bright, fun, happy side to him. He loved practical jokes, he enjoyed being with his friends, but there was, alongside his work ability, there was a darker side to him, to his character.
"But I must say that during this particular season, we didn’t see that very much. It was a very happy time."
Waplington believes McQueen chose him after feeling drawn to his "dirty, messy" aesthetic, reasoning they worked well together. The designer contacted him in 2006, with the artist initially trying to push the collaboration back. When McQueen insisted they had to get together now, he didn't suspect anything was wrong.
"No, like everyone, it’s easy to say with hindsight that someone had issues or some problem in their lives, but I really did not have any idea," he admitted.
"I knew he was very worried about his legacy... but it was a complete shock on that Friday morning. You know, I found out he was dead. I couldn’t get a flight back to the UK, it being a Friday, you know, no flights available."
Nick Waplington/Alexander McQueen: Working Process offers an insight into the way the designer created his collections via the medium of candid photographs.