On His 49th Birtday, Alexander McQueen's Best Work in the Pages of W

Alexander McQueen once said that, "People don't want to see clothes, they want to see something that fuels the imagination." That ethos was apparent in each of the collection the British designer created. His genius lied in the fact that his clothing could evoke such narrative and fantasy without overpowering the strong women who wore his designs. The McQueen women was a one who had seen the brutality and ugliness in the word, but have survived and overcome it to wear her femininity as a defiant armor. McQueen's flare for the dramatic was not only evident in the many fashion shows that transgressed the commercial and crossed over into theater, but also in the ways that others utilized his clothes. Whether on friends and muses like Daphne Guinness or Sarah Jessica Parker, or in the imagery of musical artists like Björk and Lady Gaga, McQueen's garments always told a story. It's for that reason as well that he was such a favorite amongst magazine stylist and fashion photographers. Often, McQueen had already done half their work for them when it came to making a transfixing image. On what would have been the designer's 49th birthday, look back at McQueen's best work in the pages of W as captured by photographers like Mert & Marcus, Inez & Vinoodh, Camilla Nickerson, Craig McDean and others.

Linda Evangelista in in Alexander McQueen metallic crystal-encrusted silk dress, photographed by Steven Klein, styled by Camilla Nickerson for W Magazine, October 2008.

Coco Rocha, Kinee Dinouf wearing Alexander McQueen's white silk satin dress, and Snejana Onopka, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for W Magazine, March 2007.

Natasha Vodianova wearing Alexander McQueen's silk lace dress, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Alex White, for W Magazine, September 2004.

Model wearing Alexander McQueen silver silk and metal dress, photographed by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, styled by Camilla Nickerson, for W Magazine, April 2009.

Agyness Deyn wearing Alexander McQueen's black viscose dress, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, for W Magazine, January 2007.

Anna Jagodzinska wearing Alexander McQueen silk satin and organza dress, photographed by Craig McDean, for W Magazine, February 2009.

Natalia Vodianova wearing Alexander McQueen headpiece, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Alex White, for W Magazine, August 2006.

Devon Aoki wearing Alexander McQueen silk tulle dress, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Alex White, for W Magazine, March 2008.

Lily Cole wearing Alexander McQueen silk tulle and lace gown, photographed by Juergen Teller, styled by Camilla Nickerson, for W Magazine, February 2008.

Malgosia Bela wearing Alexander McQueen's silk chiffon blouse and headpiece, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Alex White, for W Magazine, September 2006.

America Ferrera wearing Alexander McQueen's fox fur cape, photographed by Michael Thompson, for W Magazine, May 2007.

Karlie Kloss, Sigrid Agren, and Viktoriya Sasonkina wearing Alexander McQueen, photographed by Craig McDean, for W Magazine, June 2009.

Gisele Bündchen wearing Alexander McQueen white silk tulle dress and red pom-poms, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Alex White, for W Magazine, August 2008.

Denisa Dvorakova wearing Alexander McQueen's beaded cream and taupe silk tulle and lace dress, photographed by David Sims, for W Magazine, March 2007.

Kate Moss wearing Alexander McQueen silk tulle dress, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, for W Magazine, September 2008.

Mariacarla Boscono wearing Alexander McQueen hat, photographed by Juergen Teller, styled by Camilla Nickerson, for W Magazine, February 2007.

Natalia Vodianova wearing Alexander McQueen headpiece, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Alex White, for W Magazine, August 2006.

Bruce Willis with wife Emma Heming, wearing Alexander McQueen, photographed by Steven Klein, for W Magazine, July 2009.

Ginnifer Goodwin wearing Alexander McQueen nylon and paper dress with laser-cut leather harness, photographed by Steven Klein, for W Magazine, June 2009.

Christina Ricci wearing Alexander McQueen's bustier, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, for W Magazine, September 2006.

Bruce Willis with wife Emma Heming wearing Alexander McQueen boots, photographed by Steven Klein, for W Magazine, July 2009.

Guinevere Van Seenus wearing Alexander McQueen patent-leather and net dress, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Alex White, for W Magazine, March 2008.

Snejana Onopka, Coco Rocha, and Denisa Dvorakova wearing Alexander McQueen, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, for W Magazine, March 2007.

Kate Moss wearing Alexander McQueen's black beaded silk tulle jumpsuit, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Alex White, for W Magazine, October 2007.

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