‘If you leave without emotion, I’m not doing my job properly. I want you to feel repulsed or exhilarated, as long as it’s an emotion.’ So says the late, great Alexander McQueen in the trailer for McQueen, a stunning, insightful new documentary exploring the ground-breaking fashion designer’s life and work that’s also a testament to just how well McQueen achieved that goal of inciting raw emotion through his clothes and catwalk shows.
Stitching together a combination of home video, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with McQueen’s closest friends, family and collaborators, with richly realised original graphics that re-imagine the designer’s creative obsessions in new ways, the documentary charts Lee ‘Alexander’ McQueen’s remarkable rise through the fashion industry.
Starting with his first graduate collection (titled Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims, it took typically sinister inspiration from the infamous Whitechapel murderer) it follows the designer through his early successes, his tenure at Givenchy and the creative apex of his label, while exploring his background and, inevitably, some of the darker undercurrents in the designer’s personal life.
As you’ll see in the trailer, footage from McQueen’s jaw-dropping catwalk shows make dazzling and often disturbing set pieces, from grainy video of ‘It’s a Jungle Out There,’ an early show inadvertently curtailed by an explosive finale, to the eerie hologram of Kate Moss which formed part of 2006’s Widows of Culloden show (which fans might remember from the V&A’s blockbusting Savage Beauty exhibition, where it was recreated using the same Victorian illusion trick). It all stands as haunting proof of McQueen’s talent.
After premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York last month, the film (which is directed by Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui) will arrive in cinemas on June 8th.
Watch the full trailer for McQueen below
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