Segments in this Video

Alexander McQueen: On His Own Terms (02:08)


From the diverse fashion capital of London, England, Alexander McQueen has become famous for his outlandish designs both at home and abroad. His runway shows are theatrical and avant-garde, and his technique matches his sense for spectacle.

McQueen's Upbringing & Rebellious Character (02:04)

Alexander McQueen was born on London's East End, to a large, blue-collar family with whom he's still close. Hear him describe his early attraction to fashion and his tendency to rebel -- including his goal to "destroy the fashion industry from within."

Confrontational Fashion (01:17)

Alexander McQueen's early shows were confrontational enough to qualify as performance art, like his notorious "Rape of the Highlands" collection. One journalist remarks on the craftsmanship beyond the spectacle.

Fashion Outcast (01:35)

One critic describes Alexander McQueen's "punk mentality" -- the aim to shock a society to which he feels he doesn't belong. He intelligently incorporates themes of the outcast.

Uncensored Inspiration (00:59)

Critics believe some of Alexander McQueen's more shocking looks (shown here) represent his naïveté, saying he "wears his inspiration on his sleeve." McQueen defends one of his more "perverse" looks.

Controversy & Allegations of Misogyny (01:07)

Alexander McQueen has often seemed to court controversy. He defends himself against accusations of misogyny by describing circumstances of his upbringing, saying he often portrays women as society still sees them.

Tailor's Education & Early Work (03:07)

Hear Alexander McQueen describe his journey from a tailor's apprenticeship on Savile Row, to the theatre, to Italy, and finally back to London, where stylist Isabella Blow put him on the map in "Vogue."

"Growing Up" at Givenchy (04:08)

At age 26, Alexander McQueen was hired at Givenchy, which taught him about haute couture and funded his own line. Though he toned down his style for Givenchy, his first Paris couture shows (shown here) failed to persuade couture critics.

McQueen's Design Team (01:19)

Alexander McQueen's design team, including creative director Katy England, has followed him through his career. England remarks on the speed and surprise of McQueen's upward career trajectory.

Nick Knight Collaborations & Fashion as Vehicle for Change (02:29)

McQueen embodies the restless Londoner attitude. Together with photographer Nick Knight, he injects political subtext in his work. Their "Dazed and Confused" photo shoot with people with disabilities (shown here) raised eyebrows.

Fantasy in Fashion (03:59)

Alexander McQueen has a cinematic sensibility for visual spectacle. His Fall '99 collection (shown here, with others) takes inspiration from Kubrick's film, "The Shining." Famous actors and artists praise his work after various shows.

McQueen's Design Process & Vision (03:37)

Alexander McQueen acts like a sponge, absorbing images and inspiration and easily translating them into his own line. He designs collections in one day, and his fashion philosophy is defined by change. He cites his robot dress as a personal peak.

McQueen's New York Misstep & Personal Vulnerability (04:49)

In 1999, Alexander McQueen produced a New York show (shown here) that followed the theme of Islamic oppression of women. The fashion was criticized as too high-concept and unwearable. McQueen confesses his search for self-acceptance.

McQueen: At His Best in London (02:58)

Alexander McQueen's return to London marked a celebration of the things that matter to him, backed by extraordinary technique and theory. He fights blind public opinion and boredom with his work.

Catering to Givenchy's Taste (01:41)

Alexander McQueen describes the work he does for Givenchy as a service. He finds himself at odds with a disapproving Parisian couture culture.

Modernizing Givenchy (03:07)

Alexander McQueen, in an effort to dress the "daughters" of the typical Givenchy customer, has loosened up and modernized the brand. One critic describes the McQueen-Givenchy conflict as an English-French culture clash.

Redefining Taste & Moving Fashion Forward (02:53)

Alexander McQueen's Millennium collection for Givenchy (shown here) reads like a slate wiped clean and "recluttered" with his own invention. He's experimental and pioneering, yet grounded in technique and history.

McQueen's Struggle & Future with Fashion (03:13)

Seen here at his Givenchy workshop, Alexander McQueen is both playful and scrutinous. He calls fashion trivial and feels like a fashion outsider, believing he has yet to do his best work. After the filming of these interviews, McQueen left Givenchy and partnered with Gucci to fund his own line.

Credits: Alexander McQueen: Masters of Style (00:58)

Credits: Alexander McQueen: Masters of Style

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Alexander McQueen: Masters of Style

Part of the Series : Masters of Style
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



As one of the brightest stars on the British fashion scene, the late Alexander McQueen pushed the limits of what’s possible while sparking a good deal of controversy along the way. During the early years, his provocative shows were confrontational enough to qualify as performance art, but underneath the showmanship McQueen was a master technician with an imagination that catapulted his career from the raw edginess of London to the aristocratic atelier of Hubert de Givenchy in Paris. Filmed in 2003, this program traces McQueen’s career as it was rising to ever-greater heights. Contains fashion-related nudity. A part of the series Masters of Style. (48 minutes)

Length: 49 minutes

Item#: BVL50229

ISBN: 978-1-62290-501-0

Copyright date: ©2003

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA.