Before seeing Andrew Rossi's documentary "The First Monday in May" (2016) -- which is excellent -- I had never heard the name Alexander McQueen. Rossi's film only briefly touches on McQueen, but it was enough to catch my attention. This took me down a McQueen-themed rabbit hole of videos, the best of which I've listed below.
It seems a little naive to be explaining who McQueen was (he has since died), but if you haven't heard the name before, he was a British fashion designer and couturier. To say that his work was shocking isn't really helpful. It's better to describe McQueen's work as tortured, uncomfortably personal, and brutally rare. Yet somehow, not obscure or fringe -- he was a vital name in the fashion world.
Whether you have an interest in fashion or not, McQueen's work is fascinating. It's bigger and more important than the medium in which he worked. Digging into McQueen kept me interested for days. I recommend the videos below.
Another television documentary:
An 1996 McQueen show in its entirety:
A short clip of one of McQueen's more infamous runway moments:
Another short clip of a famously wicked McQueen runway stunt:
Few people have climbed so high and fallen as far as British fashion designer John Galliano. Few people have atoned so aggressively and genuinely for their sins as John Galliano.
Galliano was once the head designer at fashion houses Givenchy and Dior. At the height of his fame, a drunk Galliano was caught on camera saying some (in his words, years later) "disgusting" things -- things that will make you cringe. In the interview below, Charlie Rose plays a clip of Galliano muttering the horrible things, and then Rose spends the next hour testing and poking at the genuineness of Galliano's regret. To me, Galliano comes across as entirely sincere, and truly horrified and sorry for his words (Galliano says he was a "black out drunk," and that he remembers saying none of these things).
This interview stuck with me days after I saw it. Galliano is so genuine and vulnerable in his apologies. It's not often we see public apologies that feel genuine, and certainly not from people of Galliano's stature. It's impossible not to be furious at Galliano for his original words, but I also found it impossible not to feel devastated for him, and also inspired by his quest for atonement and redemption.
Galliano has since re-entered the fashion world, at Maison Margiela.