ALEXANDER MCQUEEN 2001at LONDON FASHION WEEK
Spring Summer 2001 "Voss". McQueen had always declared that he wanted his shows to elicit a strong audience reaction. Voss, one of his most celebrated, achieved that result. An enormous clinical glass box formed the centrepiece, constructed to resemble a padded cell in a psychiatric hospital with white tiled floors and walls formed from surveillance mirrors. From the outset the mood was tense; the audience forced to endure an hour-long wait, staring at their own reflections whilst listening to the unnerving pulse of a heartbeat. Eventually, the light levels in the glass box rose to reveal models trapped in the cube, who were unable to see the audience.
Spring Summer 1999 “No.13”. McQueens thirteenth collection was presented on a pared down, unvarnished wooden runway. Models rotated on plinths like fragile music-box dolls. The finale was the most arresting of any McQueen show yet. Former ballerina Shalom Harlow stood centre stage between two industrial robots, which appeared to interact with her in a gentle dance before turning predator and firing sprays of black and acid-yellow paint at her pure white trapeze dress. It was one of the most moving performance pieces to grace his runway.
Spring Summer 1998 “Golden Shower / Untitled” McQueen’s Spring/Summer 1998 collection was the first to be presented at the Gatliff Road warehouse, a rundown former bus depot in London’s Victoria neighbourhood. The runway had been positioned above clear Perspex tanks lit from below. Thunder and lightning flashes created drama and anxiety, and halfway through the show the tanks beneath the catwalk filled with pools of black ink as Ann Peebles’ ‘I Can’t Stand the Rain’, overlaid with the John Williams’ soundtrack to Jaws (1975), filled the air. Rain started to pour from the ceiling, drenching the models and causing black mascara tears to run down their faces.