26th Nov2018

‘McQueen’ VOD Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Features: Alexander McQueen, Bernard Arnault, Joseph Bennett, Detmar Blow, Isabella Blow, Katy England, Magdalena Frackowiak, Jodie Kidd, Gary James McQueen, Janet McQueen, Joyce McQueen, Kate Moss, Michelle Olley, Dana Thomas | Written by Peter Ettedgui | Directed by Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui

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Alexander McQueen’s rags-to-riches story is a modern-day fairy tale, laced with the gothic. Mirroring the savage beauty, boldness and vivacity of his design, this documentary is an intimate revelation of McQueen’s own world, both tortured and inspired, which celebrates a radical and mesmerizing genius of profound influence.

Ian Bonhôte’s documentary on the life and work of enigmatic fashion designer and late visionary Alexander McQueen is an extraordinary insight into one of Britains most charismatic exports, revealing a truly endearing character hidden behind such artistic impression that reveals a haunted genius who gave the world his nightmares through the embodiment of fashion.

The examination and journey into the heart and mind of the titular subject are often dark and brooding, yet tentative and informative. Breaking down McQueen’s life in a series of chapters dissected and structured with his explosive fashion runways gives an immensely sincere and immersive insight to the mental and emotional context of both stress and fragility. Expressed via homemade footage shot my friends, family or the man himself. Often utilising a voice over by McQueen, his associates, or family to further contextualise the events that occur and surround his life.

The result is a confident and engrossing exhibit on a human enigma. A man who struggled with his demons and publically flaunted such in the eye of the gravitas and confidence of master at his craft. The thematic juxtaposition opens the film’s themes and emotionally compelling nature ten-fold. The opened wound of loss and the result of witnessing much hidden and personal affliction is a haunting experience to subject oneself towards. Much like Asif Kapadia’s truly mesmerising, yet troubling documentary ‘Amy’ it often feels tentatively exploitative to be given so much access on such raw moments of trauma.

Yet the documentary of McQueen highlights the greatness, the outlandish and exhilarating ideas of an icon who spoke through his clothes. Ian Bonhôte’s film does just that, honouring the man and his passion in the same way as he would have intended via the output of the art and its impression upon an audience.

McQueen is available on Netflix now.

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