Dazed Digital revisits one historical 1996 head-to-head between...
February 20 2016
David Bowie interviews Alexander McQueen, taken from issue 26 of Dazed & Confused, 1996
In the mid-90s, Britpop ruled music. But while most were looking back with laddish vigour to the Kinks, Stones or Beatles, the best British designer of his generation was saluting a more difficult idol. David Bowie was returning with a series of typically prophetic, violent and glamourous albums – dressed, of course, in Lee Alexander McQueen’s designs. For the 26th issue of Dazed & Confused, the two titans of British youth culture interviewed each other, accompanied by a special photoshoot styled by Katy England and shot by Karena Perronet-Miller of his clothes.
The interview was conducted in 1996, the year McQueen was appointed head designer at Givenchy – something he discusses towards the end of this conversation. Following Bowie’s death earlier this week, we revisit this head-to-head between two of Britain’s finest creative minds. Over to you David...
This conversation took place on the phone, as is always the case with my conversations with Alex. We have worked together for over a year on various projects and never once met. It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon and he is in the verdant green hills of Gloucestershire visiting at the house of his friend, Isabella Blow. Ringring. Ringring. Ringring.
David Bowie: Are you gay and do you take drugs? (laughter) Alexander McQueen: Yes, to both of them. (more laughter) David Bowie: So what are your drugs of choice? Alexander McQueen: A man called Charlie! David Bowie: Do you find that it affects the way you approach your designing? Alexander McQueen: Yeah, it makes it more erratic. That’s why you get my head blown up shot. (In reference to a Nick Knight photograph at the Florence Biennale.)