Documentaries are a genre of film that I wouldn’t ever consider myself a fan of. Not to say I don’t enjoy them – the two I have watched in the last few days, I have loved them both. It just takes a particular topic for me to get invested.
I don’t actually know what drew me to wanting to see McQueen, maybe it was because I’d read good reviews. Or maybe it was simply because I liked the fact that I knew who he was (let’s face it, fashion really isn’t my thing).
Whatever the reason is and whatever it was that made me decide to see it, I’m glad I did.
The film tells the story of Lee Alexander McQueen but it delves so much deeper than just that. Yes, he was an outstanding fashion designer and succeeded to great heights at a ridiculously young age, but this documentary tells us so much more about Lee. The human being behind the lavish designs.
It starts by telling us how he began in the fashion world and the producers did a great job at getting some of his past co-workers and employers to feature in the film. He found fashion at an age when he wouldn’t have known what he wanted, he just needed a job and it came in the form of an apprenticeship in Saville Row.
Within only a few years of this first venture he became founder of his own line, McQueen, holding vibrant shows and creating stunning collections. To then go on and (with a group of his closest friends) became creative director of Givanchi in Paris and soon enough becoming head designer of Gucci. He was a man of many talents and managed to retain his own personal style throughout his career becoming, quite simply, a visionary.
The film is built upon this outstanding human being as well as his career. Friends, family, colleagues, models and admirers discuss their love and gratitude for him. His friends moving statements about the kind of person he was are warming and at times funny and charming.
The whole production design of the film is as stunning as the content. With the astounding graphics of the skulls which defined him as a designer leading the documentary through the story and the constant reflections of his personal life, the pace is perfect and the film is fascinating.
One thing I love particularly about documentaries like this is how much I learn from them. I know they’re designed to inform but I always feel enlightened by the subject and I am so glad I was drawn to this one.
I highly recommend it, even to people who are not interested in the sheer madness of the fashion industry, but purely for the incredibly mastery of the filmmaking.