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Archive: “Armadillo” Boots

Remembering The Most Notable Alexander McQueen’s Shoe Creation: “Armadillo” Boots That Became Iconic Piece of The Fashion History

“[This collection predicted a future in which] the ice cap would melt . . . the waters would rise and . . . life on earth would have to evolve in order to live beneath the sea once more or perish. Humanity [would] go back to the place from whence it came.” Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen being famous for romanticising darkness and inventing the shows worth to be perceived on a par with theatrical performances like no one of the designer could never do it the same way he did. Plato’s Atlantis was widely acclaimed as the finest show of his career by bringing the audience back to basis –  to what inspired him the most – nature. McQueen merged Darwin’s nineteenth-century theories of evolution with twenty-first-century concerns over global warming. The collection is a reference to the mysterious island lots of scientists still craving to discover beneath the ocean, and whose secrets still being the most unsearchable ones to understand and believe in. The “back to basics” considered in prophesying the global warming changes in which the ice caps would melt, seas and oceans would rise above the set level, and humanity would need to evolve conversely in order to survive, to come back to what they all come from underwater.

And the fantasy created by McQueen appeared to become the most spectacular representation of how it would look if that kind of things really happened.

“Armadillo” boot appeared to become the most notable statement piece of the Plato’s Atlantis (Spring/Summer 2010) show as models walked down the catwalk wearing the unconventional shoes in which the gait itself is about to represent a real example of heroism and a downright modelling professionalism. Celebrating the mix of claw-like menace and elegant beauty of a ballerina’s en point, the “Armadillo” boot was hand carved out of wood, transmitting an image of the earthy creatures gradually coming back to their “roots” hidden under the sea as colours and textures shifted with the transition from species to species. The lining and the upper were experienced individually that required four zips to be implemented in order to make foot fit inside the boot. No matter how challenging it was to put on and wear it because of its weight and height, a bulge above the toes allowed models to lift the boot much easily while walking.

As fashion critic, Sarah Mower reviewed the show models, “Their gangly legs sunk in grotesque shoes that looked like the armoured heads of a fantastical breed of the antediluvian sea monster.”

The majority of the “Armadillo” boots wasn’t intended to be commercially produced and sold, though some were bought by loyal McQueen fans and fashion collectors who might have added to their treasure chest another one statement piece no one ever can afford to get, but admire behind the glass case at the Museum of Savage Beauty. One of the admirers became Lady Gaga who approached the scale-like and skeleton-shape “Armadillo” boots within her “Bad Romance” music video that hit the top of the music charts and remained there straight for 52 weeks. Though, the video isn’t the only place where the boots found its destined application: the eccentric famous singer was spotted out and about wearing it on casual daily occasions and red carpet appearances.

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