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An astonishingly moving film, perfectly attuned to its brilliant, troubled subject, McQueen relates the rags-to-riches-to-self-destruction trajectory of British designer Alexander McQueen to the work itself with piercing acumen. Framing and sound design enhance the ‘savage beauty’ of five legendary shows, their inherently cinematic nature now unleashed on the giant screen.
“[Filmmakers] Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui are blessed with intimate, candid interviews with many of the people who worked closest with McQueen, as well as archival interviews with his late muse and booster Isabella Blow and his beloved mother Joyce… The shows are still the centerpieces of the film, but they take on new dimension as narrated by those who knew the designer best…
What McQueen reminds those obsessives and laypeople alike is that fashion is an incredibly emotional art form, and McQueen’s work was some of the most moving there was or ever will be. His shows were more like works of modern dance or theater than commercial exhibitions, in which the only choreography was the incredibly heavy, deceptively expressive act of walking…
Yes, his creativity fuelled a commercially successful brand that is still in operation to this day. But it also injected an entire industry with possibility and inspiration, and was cathartic like a great film or pop song, the operatic awe of it all accessible to those who will never so much as touch one of his haute couture creations. Bonhôte and Ettedgui make it even more accessible, earnestly and convincingly making the argument for fashion as not just art, but great art.” — Emily Yoshida, Vulture