Alexander McQueen was one of the most well respected English fashion designers in recent history with outlandish designs and widespread success. From the outside his life seemed to be perfect. His career was moving exceptionally fast as he was propelled into the lime light after starting his own line titled after himself and most recently he was preparing to debut his second line called McQ. He enjoyed his privacy and rarely granted interviews or made himself accessible to the media. But all of this fame and fortune could not hide the troubles he was dealing with in his life. Five days ago the young designer was found dead of an apparent suicide on the same day he was to debut his McQ line and most likely be greeted with critical acclaim.
I can’t help but make the comparison between Alexander McQueen and “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson. Everyone thought Richard Cory lived a good life because he was richer than a king and looked as though everything was in place.
And he was rich, yes, richer than a king,
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine -- we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
But clearly he did not feel his life was as perfect as everyone else thought it was because he put a bullet in his head at the end of the poem. We must ask ourselves the age old question of whether or not the grass really is greener on the other side?
Both of these stories tell us that no one ever really knows the secrets a person can hide and riches and fame don’t necessarily equate perfect happiness. It was a sad ending to Alexander McQueen’s life and career and as it was for Richard Cory, we should not assume a person’s life is perfect simply because they walk down the street with a smile on their face.
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet in his head.