A Form of Escapism

“Fashion should be a form of escapism, and not a form of imprisonment”
Alexander McQueen


The Eye, Alexander McQueen Spring Summer 2000 Collection. McQueen turned the runway into a terrifying bed of metal spikes and nails. Models were lifted into the air showing off sheer knits, body hugging jerseys and a controversial makeover of the burka among other racy interpretations of Middle Eastern dress.


This season, Alexander McQueen is staging his first major show in New York. Rumors about the show abound: Some say he plan to suspend models from the Brooklyn Bridge. Others say he is going to use 240 models, that they will walk through a pool of oil, and that the show will cost a million dollars. The location is kept secret until the last minute. To add to the drama, a hurricane is heading up the coast. New York’s mayor issues an order for schools and businesses to close and for people to return home by three in the afternoon.

Although many shows have been cancelled, McQueen’s evening presentation at Pier 94 on the Hudson River is on. More than a thousand people brave the torrential rain and gusting sixty-mile-per-hour to attend. Inside the cavernous warehouse is a shallow pool. The music starts, and the first model strides out, splashing through the water and sending up droplets that glisten in the spotlight.

This show is said to be a protest against the repression of Islamic women with the water on the runway representing the oil of wealthy middle-eastern countries. In keeping with the Islamic theme, veils appear along with crescent moon motifs –but the designs are counterbalanced by a western sensibility.


Alexander McQueen drops his trousers to show off his American flag print underwear during the show’s finale.

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