Almost after a decade of the premature demise, the wonderful documentary “McQueen” retraces the intense and suffered life of Alexander McQueen, who committed suicide in 2007, the fashion enfant prodige that in a few years – thanks to the trangressive and provocative creativity – revolutionized the Haute Couture universe. Created and produced by the French Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, already known for the Marlon Brandon documentary “Listen to me Marlon”, the film was made after an exhausting negotiation with the family members to obtain the English designer’s rights.
The main positive aspect of the film is that it mingles the public and the personal through an engaging storytelling, conceived with different videos (some as-yet-unrevealed) and the crucial contribution from friends, colleagues and family members, among those Rebecca Barton from Saint Martins fashion school in London, the sister Janet, the nephew Gary, Isabella Blow (his talent-scout and vital reference point in his work) and the designer Tom Ford. “It is the sex, drugs and rock & roll philosophy – McQueen loved reminding – that commands my shows.”
A behavior that is well shown in the film, with Spring Summer 1999 catwalk videos in which the white dress from the model and ballet dancer Shalom Harlow is sprayed with yellow and black paint by two industrial robots, almost a tribute to the Steampunk, the cultural and artistic movement that dominated the most Avantgarde alternative set. One last note to the film soundtrack by Michael Nyman, a musician highly appreciated by McQueen.
Above: Lily Donaldson, Alexander McQueen, Vogue Oct 2009, Photo Mario Testino