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Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui

The incredible popularity of the recent V&A exhibition Savage Beauty which celebrated the genius of designer Alexander McQueen is testament to the fact that our fascination with him, eight years after his death, has not diminished. McQueen, a flamboyant and thrilling documentary which explores his early years, his inspirations, his creative process and the undeniable brilliance of his work, is a fitting tribute to the man.

Although to his friends he was known as Lee, it was muse Isabella Blow who persuaded him to use Alexander (more sophisticated), not long before he became world famous and only his last name was required. More than just a clothes designer, McQueen became a cultural icon during his illustrious career. Directors Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui structure the film in a series of chapters (all named after McQueen’s key collections), each of which explores his progression from cheeky unknown to international superstar.

Candid interviews with friends and colleagues, including design assistant Sebastian Pons, family members and Detmar Blow, the widower of Isabella, paint a portrait of the troubled genius emerging. Inevitably, the film becomes more sombre as it illustrates the impact the loss of two of the most important women in his life, Blow and his mother, had on McQueen’s life. The death of an exhausted and grieving McQueen by his own hand leaves us finally with many uncomfortable questions about whether the ruthless fashion industry could have done more to protect one of its shining lights.