I absolutely loved this movie.
I’m not much of a fashion person, as most of you know, but this is the ultimate rags-to-riches story of an extraordinary creative talent.
I wasn’t even that aware of McQueen until Lady Gaga started wearing his outfits (and shoes in particular). But I really fell in love with him and his work when I saw the MET’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition in 2011. That show at the Met was seen by over 650,000 people, making it one of the most popular exhibits in the museum’s history, and their most popular fashion exhibit ever.
What makes the movie so enthralling is the rarely seen archival footage of McQueen, starting when he was a chubby teen, along with the wonderful interviews with his family, friends and associates (not the usual fashion crowd). He adored his mum, she was his everything. And no matter how crazy his vision, she was always his biggest supporter.
McQueen’s hustle and undeniable talent got him the breaks and introductions he needed. He was able to seize opportunities when they came his way from getting apprenticeships at top Savile Row tailors to getting into Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design. He had no money for many years but his creativity was so great that he was able to literally make clothes out of nothing. No money for fabric, OK we’ll use plastic wrap. Necessity is the mother of invention after all!
A big part of the movie is his relationship with renowned London stylist Isabella Blow. She became a long-time friend, an advocate for his work but ultimately they had a major falling out over money and position. She later committed suicide, leaving McQueen grief-stricken.
The sadness in his life is never far from the surface .
See below for more highlights from the movie.