In the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2006 survey of English taste, AngloMania, one of the first exhibits was a coat McQueen designed for David Bowie. It was based on the Union Jack. Tattered and decayed, it looked like something a victim of a drowning might have worn. Deeper into the exhibition were examples of McQueen’s work in black cottons, silks and laces. With large, exoskeleton jewellery along jawbones and spines, his figures looked like the bride and companions to the Grim Reaper.
Alexander McQueen’s futuristic Spring 2010 show in Paris, entitled ‘Plato’s Atlantis’, featured alien-princess hairdos, exquisite digital-snakeskin party frocks, and 10-inch jewel-encrusted lobster-claw ‘shoes’ resembling nothing so much as Wikus’s mangled arm from District 9. It’s always fun to see fashion editors scrambling for words like 'antediluvian', but according to a press release, there’s a cyclical-ecological view at work here: McQueen is concerned about the dissolving polar ice cap and worries that we’re heading back to an underwater future.