For the past six months, I’ve been choosing a weekly favourite from my 30-plus years of going to fashion shows. It seemed like an appropriate way to remember — to celebrate — something the industry was missing. But, as The Worst Year Ever™ comes to an end, I felt my choice should be a more pointed reminder of what once was. More than nostalgic uplift, more than wanton acts of beauty or provocation, what could — did — a fashion show offer? With that question in mind, a re-visit of Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2001 show had a pleasing inevitability.
Beauty and horror were the tentpoles of McQueen’s aesthetic. The quest for one, the flight from the other felt like mean motivators in 2020. So seeing those impulses crystallised so vividly on a fashion runway two decades ago confirms McQueen’s peculiar prescience. Except he flipped them. He was often seeking the