Review: Rags to riches McQueen doc plays it straight but a bit dull
- Credit: Lionsgate Films
Documentary stitches together the life of Alexander McQueen, tortured genius of working class origins, openly gay trailblazer, who challenged the fashion establishment, from his awkward teenage years to global catwalk stardom.
Faced with the prospect of a screening of a documentary about a great British fashion designer, I thought I ought to make a bit of an effort. So I rolled up in a 20th century short sleeve shirt (not vintage, just unchucked), scuffed shoes and unfashionably distressed jeans.
I needn't have bothered. Lee Alexander McQueen was a tubby East End boy who would often slouch out after his shows in scruffy attire that was a little bit too keen to show that he was still street.
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Professionally he was forced to go with his middle name Alexander because there is just no way you can tart up the single syllable Lee.
He did though have an innate gift for tailoring, a fierce desire to learn and an unstoppable ambition that saw him putting on catwalk shows while he was still on the dole. He was also possessed of any number of demons that would eventually nudge him to take his own life, aged 40. He said he 'pulls horrors out of myself and put it on the catwalk.'
- 1 Norfolk wakes up to empty pumps – despite assurances of ‘ample fuel stocks’
- 2 Man dies in hospital after fight near Norfolk pub
- 3 Huge seaside home with indoor pool for sale for £600,000
- 4 The Bill star reveals he has moved to Norfolk and why he loves it
- 5 Queues form at Norfolk petrol stations - despite reassurances over stock
- 6 How farm shop grew from honesty-box shed to £1.2m turnover
- 7 Why has a golden dome appeared in this Norfolk town?
- 8 Delays on roads as petrol queues continue
- 9 Dramatic pictures as huge barn fire breaks out near coast
- 10 A11 to undergo 18 months of roadworks
A few years back a McQueen biopic was promised but we have been spared that and instead get this straightforward, chronological telling of his life.
The film is built upon the masses of home videos of himself he left behind, supplemented with an array of faces chipping in on his talent, his personality and his addictions.
It is certainly well presented with some classy title cards and is whisked through to the accompaniment of old Michael Nyman soundtracks.
The footage of his shows, more like performance art happenings than the usually catwalk bustle, demonstrate that he was someone with a real vision, one so strong that it could communicate to those with no interest in fashion. So maybe it's a wee bit disappointing that the film of his life is so conventional and unlikely to appeal to anybody not already interested in the story.