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Arts and Entertainment Monday, Aug. 20, 2018 11 months ago

'McQueen' captures the emotional adventure that was the designer's life

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The documentary tells the captivating tale of a brilliant artist's short life through interviews with his family, fellow workers, partners and McQueen himself.

"McQueen" is a documentary which casts you under its spell in the first frame. It navigates the life of iconic fashion designer Lee Alexander McQueen with such astonishing insight and stunning visuals that you don't want to blink for 111 minutes.

From humble beginnings in London's East End, McQueen, a school dropout, rose to become one of the most controversial and groundbreaking designers in the world of fashion. His first show that he staged while in college impressed London stylist Isabella Blow to such a degree, she bought his entire first collection. It evolved into a collaboration and friendship which launched his iconoclastic career. 

 

Through interviews with McQueen's family, fellow workers, partners and, most importantly, McQueen himself, we glean knowledge into what made him tick. Much of it is inspiring but sometimes inspiration comes from a very dark place. And Lee had acres of personal demonic spaces in his lifetime. With fame came isolation and depression.

Fighting back tears, Directors Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui tap into the passion that drove McQueen and put it on display with images that leave you exhilarated, breathless and with uncontrollable tears. Their footage of McQueen's brilliant and disturbing live shows catch us off guard and leave us reeling in their wake. Those shows explored include "Jack the Ripper Stalks his Victims," "The Highland Rape," "It's a Jungle Out There," "Search for the Golden Fleece" and "Voss." Unsettling titles that bore clothing depicting the thematic structure of his work. Designer and filmmaker Tom Ford comments, "He controlled the vibe, good and bad."

Lee Alexander McQueen was a man with singular vision. He was a sculptor, a magician, a choreographer and creative genius unlike any other. He revolutionized the fashion industry leaps and bounds beyond avant-garde. "McQueen" captures the visual and emotional adventure that was his life. One could venture a guess that McQueen would approve. 

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