Inferno encapsulates the pure energy of McQueen’s 1996 show, Dante. Celebrating a legend, the book is a tribute of quotes and never before seen photographs.
Almost two decades ago, Lee McQueen’s magnum opus Dante saw antelope horns extend from models’ temples, Baroque beaded latticework headwear, and faces concealed by bird-like lace make. It was a statement beyond the times, and the son of an East End taxi driver was soon to become one of fashion’s most revered designers.
Photographer Kent Baker was there to document the remarkable show and this year, in his newest book, Inferno, he presents his photographs of the landmark event. This isn’t another glossy coffee table paper weight; it’s a treasure chest of fashion iconography and insight, and a loyal tribute to an unforgettable talent.
A series of 50 word quotes – from the likes of Suzy Menkes, Katy England and Lee’s then-partner Andrew Groves – accompany Baker’s intimate and candid photo diary. Without this book, how would we know that McQueen told his audience that the architect who built the show’s church venue was a satanist, or that he described himself as the “pink sheep of the family”? It is haunting self-proclamations like these that linger longest.