Image of Sonnet Stanfill on the ‘Alien’ shoe

Sonnet Stanfill on the 'Alien' shoe


So the Alien Shoe was part of Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection, Plato’s Atlantis, and what I really responded to about this design is the biomorphic, spine-like form that starts at the sole of the shoe and kind of winds its way up the heel and around the toes of the foot. And so it really almost looks like the wearer is being kind of ensnared in this snake-like form. What’s really alarming is that there is also a single finger that just kind of curls itself around the wearer’s toe. So it’s almost like the model is going to be sucked into the earth by this form. And it really is referencing in its design the creations of H. R. Giger. The film Alien won a special effects Oscar in 1980 and Giger said in an interview with the BBC in 1981 that he never created designs that were pretty. You know, he said ‘I never would make a flower, unless it’s a flower that would eat someone’. So there is this kind of sinister combination of biology and mechanics involved in Giger’s work, which here McQueen is referencing.