The major problem is what could be called the Margaret Thatcher–Tony Blair fall-out factor. It is a quirk of history that powerful figures almost always leave a strong after-wave when they are no longer in power … or even alive. It is the old principle that small trees cannot thrive in the shade of big ones. After any strong character falls, there is confusion while weaker ones vie for the leader's crown. In the case of a politician we end up with an interregnum until a party regroups and finds itself a new leader. But creativity isn't like politics. Whereas policies are always able to change, the creative zeitgeist of a designer label is the sprit of one man or woman, and it is very hard to change it.
We all remember how hard McQueen found it at Givenchy – he left rather than remain in an artistically alien role. The same awkwardness is now hovering over his own label. Gucci want it to continue, presumably with McQueen's team. But a team without a leader can never retain the spirit of the original. So, does Gucci find a young talent to take McQueen's place? Perhaps the question should be, what young designer would take on such a poisoned chalice that will almost certainly end in failure? It is hard enough to take on a long-dead fashion name, but one whose memory is so vivid seems impossible. Who would want to be compared with Alexander McQueen, knowing that he or she will always be found lacking?
I can think of only one possible name. Gareth Pugh alone has the right spirit and aesthetic to give it a try. But why should he take the risk?