A preacher ranted apocalyptically on the soundtrack,
Johnny Cash croaked Personal Jesus, a blood-red
moon hovered above the catwalkthe scene was set
for another cinematic Alexander McQueen spectacle,
this one a vision from hell, as he took care to point
out in his accompanying notes. The presentation seemed
(to this viewer at least) to depict the eventual
transformation of healthy young men into the
cadaverous undead, courtesy somewhere along the way of
a bite from a very stylish vampire, a descendant
perhaps of the Dracula that Gary Oldman portrayed some
years ago. "Healthy" in McQueen's context meant
healthily ambiguousthings kicked off with a
parade of silk- or broderie-anglaise blouses, a fox
fur draped over a languidly voluminous suit in a
Prince of Wales check, trousers so high-waisted they
would give Beau Brummel pause for thought. One droll
touch was a Fair Isle sweater with skulls replacing
the traditional pattern.
A (not-so) gay zombie hussar signaled the arrival of a passage of more extreme ambiguities, such as a plaid kimono top with chrysanthemum appliqués that managed to be both punkish and effete. A sequence of robes de chambreblood-red velvet, mustard-yellow silk, black-and-red satinsuggested Dracula at leisure in his library. Meanwhile, his handmaidens solemnly stalked the catwalk in the spectral form of ghoulish geishas.
As for the man behind these visions? By comparison with the lost boys and girls who peopled his show, McQueen himself looked almost obscenely healthy as he took his bow in a chunky cable-knit sweater.