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Global|A Must Watch Film: "McQueen"

Apr 3, 2019.Ichiro KumegawaTokyo, JP
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©Salon Galahad Ltd 2018

The great documentary movie of fashion designer Alexander McQueen, “McQueen” (111 minutes) will be released In TOHO Hibiya Cinemas and other participating theatres in Japan starting April 5. Last year, the film "Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist" was released depicting Vivienne Westwood’s life in maintaining her brand integrity. Using the word “amusing” is disrespectful when describing the film of a suicide victim like McQueen, but with that being said, I highly recommend both of these films.

Although it is not as bad as I had imagined, McQueen comes from a humble background. His father is a taxi driver living in the eastside of London and his intelligent mother sees the talent McQueen has to offer in fashion and supported his entire life.  

McQueen’s cinderella story begins from working at Savile Row as a tailor, and later, he meets an important figure in his life. The editor of Vogue, Isabella Blow. Isabella Blow is credited with discovering McQueen, and believes that McQueen has a real flair for fashion.

In 2010, which McQueen was 40 years old, his mother and Isabella Blow passed away. McQueen suffered from AIDS and was unable to control his agitation for being exhausted with years of work. He begins to comfort himself with anesthesia drugs while attempting suicide several times in the past. It’s not surprising that this pushed him over the edge leading to the tragedy. This movie presents the illusion of the dark side in McQueen that steps into the very deep abyss.

Similarly, fashion designer John Galliano was also part of a cinderella story; a humble beginning and a father who’s a plumber. Including punk fashion designer, Vivienne Westwood, all the prominent designer figures come from London’s working classes have a unique taste in fashion. London sure is a magical place.  

Galliano was promoted as creative director of Dior after he left Givenchy as a designer. Later, McQueen was selected as the successor to Galliano, becoming the chief designer of Givenchy when he was 27 years old. In this movie, there is an episode showing McQueen being jealous when he finds out that Galliano’s show budget as four times higher than his in Givenchy.  

This jealousy might be the indirect reason why McQueen left the LVMH Group and joined the Gucci Group (now Kering Group). After that however, Galliano was fired by Dior after a scandal of him being drunk in a coffee shop while spewing racial comments.

For children who rely on their parents’ support to complete their work, how can they understand that being a designer is a business where one works under enormous pressure and insecurities everyday? This film isn’t just for fashion people but is a must-watch for even those unfamiliar with the fashion industry.