Over the weekend, it was announced that director Andrew Haigh, who directed the critically acclaimed 2015 film 45 Days starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, is taking on an Alexander McQueen biopic as his next directorial venture. For those of us still grieving the loss of one of fashion’s most brilliant minds, the biopic — which begins filming at the end of 2016 — may provide the kind of emotional closure necessary toward understanding what spurned the designer to take his life in February of 2010.
McQueen was a fairly open book when it came to his personal life and his anti-establishment views of the fashion industry, often speaking of his addictions and dalliances with the darker side of humanity in interviews. Yet, he still remains a mysterious figure to those who seek to truly understand what compelled him, what challenged him, and what tortured him the most.
As a designer, McQueen wrote his own rules, which made him an intriguing and controversial figure in the fashion world. When he was starting out as a tailor on Savile Row, he sewed filthy ad hominems into the lining of his client, Prince Charles’, suits. In an infamous telling of his first day at Givenchy, McQueen took it upon himself to declare the brand’s founder “irrelevant” to his face. In 2006, he banned Victoria Beckham from wearing his clothes, saying, “What the [expletive] does she know about fashion? She’s a pop star, and she can’t even sing.”
Likewise, his fashion week presentations were equally if not more controversial, dealing with all manner of unsavory and macabre subjects, but at the heart of all of his work was a deep appreciation for the inherent beauty of humanity and its flaws — a topic which he approached by pushing boundaries in ways that made us think about fashion and its relation to the human body in new ways. Yet, reports by those close to McQueen declared that he was a normal guy, which confounds the public perception of his personality. Friends closest to him also divulged that he was a sensitive soul, a self-declared “mama’s boy”, and a loyal friend. Perhaps this biopic will set the McQueen story to rights, once and for all.