My name is McQueen. Alexander McQueen.
For a long time, we wanted to know more about the life of the genius behind fabrics and forms. We know the pieces he has designed, the scenarios and the universe he created has and, in all honesty, few things can add more to his story.
Some have written biographical books on his legacy – Unseen (Robert Fairer), Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (Andrew Bolton), Inferno: Alexander McQueen (Kent Baker and Melanie Rickey), putting Alexander McQueen’s life on paper.
But a movie was still missing. After all, movies allow us to walk through the door or, at least, they provide us with the illusion of being right there. McQueen is the documentary about Lee, Alex or Alexander (choose the one you like the most), co-hosted by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui.
McQueen turned his own name into a trademark that forever changed the history of fashion.
The documentary tells us about the beginnings, the career and the abyss. Using archival images, interviews with family and close friends, footage from the backstage of fashion shows, and chunks of conversation with the designer himself, we reach the intimate realm. We touch his childhood wounds and we touch the seams that worked like gauze and medicine. From the scars that time couldn’t fix, this fine line that blurs the frontier between fashion and art is the remaining piece, from the beginning of the 00’s to today.
The documentary chronologically follows the stylist’s life. It is divided into 5 chapters, each with the name of the most iconic collections he created. All of them, a show of his darkest side, evoking violence, rape and other demons. From Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims the Highland Rape, revisiting Plato’s Atlantis, to the most sublime and grotesque Voss, it is as if in every chapter of his life this tragic beauty was almost always present.
Alexander McQueen, a Briton from East London, was fashion royalty, the crown jewel of haute couture born as a diamond in the rough, waiting to be found – like someone affirms during the movie: “No one discovered Alexander McQueen. Alexander McQueen discovered himself.”
He was a fan of Sinead O’Connor, was his mother’s number 1 fan (who always wanted to serve snacks to the models during fashion shows), took measurements with the naked eye, was unbiased in everything he did, even during his tough time at Givenchy, he let a car burn during the start of a fashion show, had the unfortunate end we all know about. He rejected the candid and fulfilling Parisian aesthetics, embraced extravagance and the extremes “I want to incite revulsion and passion”, all at the same time.
McQueen is a film as grandiose as he was. There are no unnecessary questions, no frills and needless flowery, no biographical details that do not fit, focusing instead on what really matters: “If you want to know me, look at my work”, said (Lee) McQueen. However, this is an unquenchable movie – it awakens the gluttony of wanting to know more. But this is the stuff of legends: the mysterious cloak that covers their reason and the will we have to take it off.