On my flight home for Thanksgiving break, I had the privilege of watching a documentary about one of the most influential figures the fashion industry has ever seen; McQueen. It was brilliant.
Alexander McQueen first caught my eye a couple years ago. I was watching a documentary called the First Monday in May; it discussed New York’s annual and world-renowned Met Ball. There is so much work and preparation that goes into making one of the most lavish events in the art world come to life. In the documentary, Alexander McQueen has an entire segment dedicated to his influence on the fashion and art community. Ever since my brief introduction to his work, I have been entranced.
McQueen was released in the United States on July 20, 2018. It received a 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and I believe that the rating suits the work. The documentary is split into multiple “tapes” of McQueen’s life. Home videos are paired with accounts from the designer’s closest friends, models, and faces of fashion. McQueen’s runway shows from before and after he became famous are scattered throughout the film.
The documentary begins with Alexander McQueen’s family and friends giving their takes on how the designer got into the the world of high fashion. Ever since he was a child, his family and his early fashion teachers saw his superb potential to be a designer. Apparently, McQueen would be able to simply look at the model he had to style and tailor the most well-fitted and precise garment. He was a natural at his craft.
Later in this cinematic biography, the interviewees shed light on the friendship that McQueen shared with Isabella Blow: one of his best friends that helped make him a big name in fashion. By focusing in on one of the designer’s first relationship’s in the industry, as well as taking a broad view of the nineties, this area of the documentary displays a both intimate and withdraw lens for the audience to look through.
My favorite moments within this documentary are when the viewer was able to repeatedly see how shy and humble Alexander McQueen was deep down. Although, in his more final years he was known to have negatively changed due to his drug usage, McQueen seemed to never lose his roots. At the end of each dazzling collection, McQueen would always quickly pace down the catwalk bow with his models and exit as rapidly as possible: he would rather have the spotlight on his luxuriously dark creations. He was shy.
Overall, McQueen is a wonderful documentary. Alexander McQueen’s life is remembered in a respectful, yet raw manner. This depiction of McQueen does not sugarcoat much about his last years. McQueen undeniably had one of the edgiest minds in all of fashion history. His garments were not the only things with a dark side, and you have to find out why.
I would recommend this documentary if you are interested in anything creative.
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