McQueen, The Movie
Movie directors Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui have released their latest film: McQueen. This moving documentary looks at the life and hardships of the notoriously daring fashion designer, Alexander McQueen. It tells his story by dividing his life into chapters which are named after his most iconic collections. McQueen grew up modestly in East London. At age sixteen, he dropped out of school to begin an apprenticeship in bespoke men’s clothing. He then attended design school to further his education and it was a mere four years out when he was appointed to the top creative position at the haute couture house of Givenchy. His humble background was essential to who he became later on in life. McQueen's designs were provocative and even referred to as violent at times. His groundbreaking runway shows were integral in changing the face of British Fashion. Some shows featured models stumbling down the runway with exposed body parts and tattered clothing to resemble the British attacks on the Scottish Highlands in the 18th century, another featured patients in a mental ward.
The documentary shows how his obsessions, flaws, and own personal trauma were all profound ingredients in his life's work. He was a multifaceted man who couldn't go unnoticed. Through viewing this film, we get to witness McQueen work himself from the ground up; he transforms from an unassuming East Ender to a chic icon in the fashion world. As many would regard this shift in life as an upward achievement, friends interviewed in the film actually suggest that this recognition brought on further distress and distanced himself from who he truly was. Like many creative geniuses, McQueen faced personal demons throughout his lifetime and much of the film's context touches upon the addictions he endured and eventually the suicide in 2010 that took his life. Nevertheless, his passing did not diminish his legacy. The documentary reminds us that his creations and artistic visions weren't solely for the tabloid recognition, but rather for his artistic message which still resonates today.