Alexander McQueen's Armadillo Shoe: Then and Now

by Hetty Mahlich on 23 November 2023

Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness' shoe of choice is reinvented with The Armadillo Shoe family.

Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness' shoe of choice is reinvented with The Armadillo Shoe family.

You may have heard the story before, when in 2009, Lee Alexander McQueen and Nick Knight/SHOWstudio quite literally broke the internet. McQueen was thinking about a future human race with his collection, and S/S 10 runway show was live streamed for the first time. Lady Gaga, whose song 'Bad Romance' premiered on the soundtrack, tweeted out the link and the site crashed. Fashion history was made.

McQueen's prophesy of an inhabitable world requiring the human form to mutate through fashion, teetering 30cm taller in boots hand-carved from wood and carnal in nature, remains as relevant as ever today. Inspired by the protective shell of the mammal, the Armadillo shoe was born.

In the 15 years since, the Armadillo has lived on, despite being introduced in 2009 as only a show piece, not to be produced commercially. Gracing the famous feet of clients including Gaga and Daphne Guinness, it has more recently been adapted by the Alexander McQueen brand for more everyday wear, shall we say.

For their S/S 24 pre-collection, the curved shell of the original heel guides the drape of the sculpted calf-high faux leather boot, and tonal lacquered curve heel. Pump and sandal silhouettes also sit on the lofty history of this demure Armadillo heel in metal and contrast lacquer.

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Fashion Film

Fashion Film: Plato's Atlantis

06 October 2009
The opening fashion film of Alexander McQueen's S/S 10 show, created by McQueen, Nick Knight and Ruth Hogben and starring Raquel Zimmermann.
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Interview: Alexander McQueen on Plato's Atlantis

06 October 2009
Fashion Designer Lee Alexander McQueen interviewed by Nick Knight before the unveiling of his S/S 10 show: Plato's Atlantis.
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Conversation: The Daphne Guinness Collection

25 June 2012
Nick Knight speaks to Daphne Guinness about the objectives behind of the Isabella Blow Foundation, her favourite fashion designers and her upcoming Christie's auction.
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