Anne Deniau was Alexander McQueen’s friend, confidante and the only photographer he trusted with complete backstage access to his shows. She took more than 30,000 photographs of the fashion designer and his work over their 13-year friendship. Now she’s edited 400 of the best images for a book: Love Looks Not With The Eyes: Thirteen Years With Lee Alexander McQueen.
In an interview with W magazine, she talks about her memories of the visionary designer. ‘He would challenge me, as he would challenge everybody working with him, but always in a very clever, interesting way,' she says. 'He was always pushing people in a very generous way – making things a little difficult so you go further.’
On preparations for his elaborate catwalk shows: ‘When he and his team reached the point where a show was exactly as he dreamt it, he was so happy – laughing and smiling. I’m not sure people could see that, because he would take a bow so quickly, but it was just pure joy – like a child, almost.’
And describing the reaction to the book, she says. ‘I sent the book to his brothers and sisters last week and I just received a message from his sister saying, “Thank you. I recognise my brother, the man I knew and the man I love.” That is the best thing to hear.’
For more on Love Looks Not With The Eyes see the November issue of ELLE UK magazine, on sale on Wednesday 3 October.
Alexander McQueen final collection
Alexander McQueen, 2009