Mark

SPRING/SUMMER 2001


Season Coverage


Mcqueen’s fascination with birds makes itself evident again in his S/S 2001 show, aptly titled “Voss”. In this enigmatic presentation, Mcqueen filed attendees into a dark room, where a massive mirrored cube was placed directly in the middle, forcing the guests to view their own reflections for hours before the beginning of the show. In his own words, “The idea was to turn people’s faces on themselves. I wanted to turn it around and make them think, am I actually as good as what I’m looking at?” After the wait, the cube lit up inside, revealing a space similar to the interior of a mental hospital. This illumination also revealed another darker box in the center of the cube, which remained closed for most of the show. Models wearing gauze-like head wraps began to clumsily flow into the cube, emulating a group of mental patients wading through hospital halls. The attendees could see into the box, but the models could not see out. Referencing Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) yet again, the pieces ranged from trapeze dresses adorned with feathers to elaborate gowns constructed with razor clam shells and painted microscope slides with “heel-less” shoes. In the final moments of the show, as the models begin to exit the stage, the dark glass box sitting in the middle of the runway highlighted itself as the new focal point for the audience. Within seconds, the glass walls fall, shattering against the floor to reveal a plus-sized model was lounging in the center completely naked, breathing through a modified respirator, surrounded by large moths. This image directly referenced Joel-Peter Witkin’s painting, Sanitarium (1983), while also allowing Mcqueen to make a direct statement to the audience about the societal view of beauty, completely crushing any expectations that the audience had. The show concludes with all of the models flooding out and putting their hands on the two-sided mirror, making their first point of “contact” with the audience.

Written by Brien Slotnik



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