While McQueen had many anxieties, running dry wasn’t among them. He was supremely confident of his instincts and his virtuosity. That ballast freed him to improvise, to take wild chances, and to jettison received ideas about what clothing should be made of (why not seashells or dead birds?), what it should look like (Renaissance court dress, galactic disco wear, the skins of a mutant species), and, above all, how much it could mean. The designer who creates a dress rarely invests it with as much feeling as the woman who wears it, and couture is not an obvious medium for self-revelation, but in McQueen’s case it was. His work was a form of confessional poetry.