If you leave without emotion, then I’m not doing my job properly. I want you to walk out feeling like you’ve just had Sunday lunch. I want you to be repulsed or exhilarated - as long as it’s an emotion.’
Alexander McQueen was always drawing clothes at school when he should have been working on problems of science, maths and biology. After leaving at 16 with one O-level in art, he continued to draw and design – spending all his dole money on fabrics, before getting a place at St Martin’s College and eventually rising to fame in effervescent nineties London, at the height of Cool Britannia and New Labour optimism.
McQueen designed outfits for album covers by David Bowie (Earthling) and Bjork (Homogenic; Pagan Poetry) before breaking through the world of fashion and erupting onto a global stage as head of Givenchy in 1997. It was a time trapped in a bubble - Damien Hurst was exploding at the Royal Academy in Sensation with dead animals deep in formaldehyde, Tracy Emin’s tent was sparking controversy, John Galliano was ruling the roost at Dior and Stella McCartney’s first collection at Chloe launched when she was only 25. Fashion was young, theatrical and provocative and profoundly cinematic.
The perfect subject then for McQueen, a brand new intimate documentary that delves into the life, and death, of Lee Alexander McQueen - ‘the boy from East London who became the punk rebel of Paris.’ McQueen presents the ‘Savage Beauty’ of an inspired mind, using home movies, interviews with his friends and family, and never-before-seen footage to create a vivid and thrilling portrait of the iconic designer. Personal, confessional, fearless, romantic, rebellious and extraordinary, McQueen opens on Friday.
On then to another emotion that art can elicit, this time - fear. The next big thing in the horror world is Ari Aster’s blistering debut feature Hereditary, very excitingly previewing at the Showroom on Thursday June 14 ahead of general release. From a family tree of genre masterpieces that tangles together supernatural fright with real world fears and neuroses of kith and kin, it recalls The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining, Don’t Look Now and The Babadook, whilst existing in its own gloriously nightmarish realm of terror. After the death of her mother, Annie and her family begin to unravel cryptic secrets about their family history. As they unstitch their own tightly woven past, they find themselves spiralling into an ominous and unavoidable, inherited fate.
With incredible performances from Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne Hereditary yanks private underlying worries and secret suspicions abruptly to the surface with minute precision.