The Lost Let­ters Of Wil­liam Woolf

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Entertainment -

By He­len Cullen and pub­lished in hard­back by Michael Joseph is avail­able now. Wannabe writer Wil­liam Woolf works in the Dead Let­ters Depot where he spends his days try­ing to track down the in­tended re­cip­i­ents of let­ters and parcels which have gone astray. The de­tec­tive work dis­tracts him from his writer's block and ail­ing mar­riage, but let­ters from a mys­te­ri­ous woman to her 'Great Love' make him see the world anew. Wil­liam be­comes in­fat­u­ated with a woman he has never seen or met, while his re­la­tion­ship with wife Clare reaches break­ing point be­fore ei­ther of them has re­alised how big the cracks have be­come. Cullen brings Wil­liam, Clare and their un­hap­pi­ness vividly to life while let­ter-writ­ing ro­man­tic Win­ter is quirky and enig­matic, yet al­ways be­liev­able. It's a strong de­but from Cullen, an Ir­ish writer liv­ing in Lon­don, al­though Win­ter's let­ters can some­times be a lit­tle too long and slow down the pace of the story. Cullen's great strength, how­ever, is the way she writes so mov­ingly about how day to day life can chip away at a once solid re­la­tion­ship un­til it crumbles. 7/10 Re­view by Bev­er­ley Rouse By Damon Smith Avail­able from Oct 15 on Ama­zon and from Oct 22 on DVD.

Star­ring: Alexan­der McQueen, Is­abella Blow, Det­mar Blow, Jodie Kidd, Kate Moss, Michelle Ol­ley.

Born and raised in the Lon­don bor­ough of Strat­ford, Lee Alexan­der McQueen was a tor­tured ge­nius of work­ing-class ori­gins who chal­lenged the fash­ion es­tab­lish­ment with his cat­walk shows in­flu­enced by death, de­prav­ity and vi­o­lence.

He was a de­fi­antly orig­i­nal yet heart­break­ingly frag­ile voice in a rar­efied world that didn't al­ways un­der­stand or ap­pre­ci­ate his bold am­bi­tions.

The press la­belled him a misog­y­nist for his 1995 High­land Rape col­lec­tion, which draped torn Scot­tish tar­tans over bruised mod­els, who stag­gered down the run­way as if they had just been as­saulted back­stage.

Mes­meris­ing doc­u­men­tary McQueen charts the rise of the openly gay trail­blazer from his awk­ward teenage years, through an en­dur­ing friend­ship with men­tor Is­abella Blow and a con­tro­ver­sial ap­point­ment as lead de­signer of Parisian fash­ion house Givenchy.

Ar­chive footage and rec­ol­lec­tions from men­tors - McQueen lis­tened ob­ses­sively to Sinead O'Con­nor, con­fides Red Or Dead's John McKit­t­er­ick - are in­ter­min­gled with the de­signer's per­sonal tes­ti­mony about his craft and a pen­chant for shock­ing his au­di­ence.

Key col­lec­tions and cat­walk shows are metic­u­lously dis­sected, in­clud­ing the 1999 ready-to-wear col­lec­tion which cul­mi­nated in model Shalom Har­low pos­ing on a re­volv­ing wooden plat­form as two ro­bot arms sprayed her strap­less white dress with streaks of yel­low, green and black paint.

"You don't move for­ward if you play safe," McQueen pro­fesses.

His drug-fu­elled bat­tles with per­sonal demons are il­lus­trated in tear­ful confessions from close col­lab­o­ra­tors al­though there is a cu­ri­ous ab­sence on-screen of ex­hus­band George Forsyth.

Ian Bon­hote and Peter Et­tedgui's art­fully staged bi­og­ra­phy is a beau­ti­fully tai­lored tribute to a man who ir­re­vo­ca­bly changed the tra­jec­tory of Bri­tish fash­ion. Rat­ing: **** RE­LEASED

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