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A look at the new Alexander McQueen documentary

Anne Deniau

Alexander McQueen’s astonishing and tragic story may have become a familiar one, but it’s a story that still has serious pulling power. When his talent and torment were displayed in a visual extravaganza in the 2015 Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A, it became the museum’s most successful show, selling over 490,000 tickets across a 21-week run.

This summer, a compelling new documentary about his life, McQueen, comes to cinemas from production house Bleecker Street. Premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend, the film documents Lee’s rise from a teenage apprentice tailor on Savile Row to creative director of Givenchy at the green age of 27 – and the downfall that came with such success.

Directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, McQueen is unflinchingly honest and personal. Testimonials and home footage captured by McQueen’s closest friends and family show a funny (albeit sometimes cutting) genius overcome by intense industry pressure. The documentary spans the high and low points of an extraordinary career, from the controversial A/W 1995 ‘Highland Rape’ catwalk to his A/W 2006 ‘Widows of Culloden’ show, which saw a ghost-like hologram of Kate Moss projected above the runway. The film also touches on his final years as a designer before his suicide in 2010.

Yet it is the binding relationships that ultimately shine through, a familial-style love and chaos that took Lee and his closest friends, including Isabella Blow and Katy England, to the height of fashion.

McQueen is released in cinemas across the UK on 8 June

Fashion Designer Jewelry • April 24, 2018

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