Three shoe designs by Alexander McQueen

V&A Fashion and Textile Curators discuss three groundbreaking shoe designs from Alexander McQueen's final catwalk collection, 'Plato's Atlantis' (Spring/Summer 2010).

Widely acclaimed as his finest collection, McQueen's final runway presentation, Plato's Atlantis, referenced the legendary island described by the Greek philosopher, which sank into the sea – predicting a future world in which humanity would need to evolve in order to survive. McQueen incorporated cinematic references to sci-fi and fantasy films like Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) and developed a host of new shapes, including the now-iconic Armadillo boot – an entirely new shoe form, without apparent reference to the natural anatomy of the foot; the 3D printed Alien shoe, with its biomorphic, spine-like design, suggesting a sinister combination of biology and mechanics; and the Titanic boot, whose articulated heel and tarnished metal rivets evoke the doomed ocean liner after which it is named.

(left to right) Armadillo boot; Alien shoe; Titanic shoe, Alexander McQueen, Plato’s Atlantis Spring/Summer 2010, Uk. Images © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Courtesy of Alexander McQueen