Model Shalom Harlow gets spray-painted by robots at the S/S 1999 fashion show, All Over Press.

Model Shalom Harlow gets spray-painted by robots at the S/S 1999 fashion show, All Over Press.

Best Alexander McQueen moments

Savage Beauty, the late designer’s retrospective has opened at the Victoria and Albert in London, and to celebrate, we are counting down ten of our favourite Alexander McQueen moments.

Alexander McQueen and Björk, Getty Images.

10. BJÖRK
Björk began commissioning McQueen after seeing his St Martin’s graduate collection, which led to a rich partnership. The designer made dresses for her album covers, most notably Homogenic, and for videos, which contributed to her growing identity as a creative artist of depth.

The Kate Moss hologram, Getty Images.

9. THE KATE MOSS HOLOGRAM, A/W 2006
McQueen’s A/W 2006 show closed with a vision of the future – a hologram, made by filmmaker Baillie Walsh, of Kate Moss in a billowing gown that fluttered in the wind before a mesmerised audience.

For Givenchy A/W 1999, All Over Press.

8. CYBORGS AT GIVENCHY, A/W 1999
During his tenure at Givenchy in the late 1990s, McQueen showed a futuristic collection with patterns and prints based on circuit boards. The collection closed with dramatic, full-on android looks that glowed in the dark and even lit up in parts.

S/S 2004, All Over Press.

7. DELIVERANCE, S/S 2004
For S/S 2004, McQueen took inspiration from the Jane Fonda filmThey Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Centred around a manic dance marathon choreographed by Michael Clark, models shook their limbs with glee in elegant gowns and tailored looks.

A/W 2009, Getty Images.

6. THE HORN OF PLENTY, A/W 2009
Channelling his frustration with the state of fashion into new work, A/W 2009 saw a collection of McQueen at his absurdist best. What Vogue called “moronic Geisha” tottered in on platform shoes, in houndstooth with umbrellas on their heads, for a memorable show from the designer.

The Philip Treacy hat, Getty Images.

5. PHILIP TREACY HATS
A collaboration with milliner Philip Treacy led to many fabulous hats for McQueen collections down the years. Butterflies and birds were typical fantastical fodder for the heads of the designer’s models.

S/S 1999, All Over Press.

4. NO 13 DRESS, S/S 1999
S/S 1999 saw Shalom Harlow model a dress in a new way – rotating on a turntable in a white strapless gown while two robots orbited her, spray-painting the dress in yellow and black. 

S/S 2010, Getty Images.

3. PLATO’S ATLANTIS, S/S 2010
McQueen made fashion history in 2009 by streaming the first high-fashion show online at Showstudio.com – crashing the site in the process. The clothes on show blended complex digital prints with couture-style construction to amazing effect, and boasted the now infamous Armadillo shoes (as worn by Lady Gaga in the Bad Romance video).

Daphne Guinness, Getty Images.

2. DAPHNE GUINNESS
As a close friend of the designer, Daphne Guinness amassed a huge collection of his work and loves his sky-high platform heels. Since his death, she has worked to preserve his legacy, supporting the Savage Beauty exhibition with her own collection.

S/S 2001, Getty Images.

1. VOSS, S/S 2001
Eschewing the runway format, McQueen showed his S/S 2001 collection in a mirrored cube meant to be a holding cell. Models such as Kate Moss and Erin O’Connor strutted, while writer Michelle Oley posed naked on a couch, surrounded by moths and butterflies.

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