Walking In an Alexander McQueen Show Was Terrifying and Almost Impossible

In an exclusive clip from the documentary “McQueen,” model Magdalena Frackowiak discusses walking in the infamous Armadillo shoes.

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Jul 23 2018, 9:02pm

The new documentary McQueen explores how Alexander McQueen harnessed darkness and beauty as levers to unlock genius. McQueen was an auteur of the runway; his shows were highly staged, emotionally fraught events. In this exclusive clip, for example, model Magdalena Frackowiak explains how walking in a McQueen show involved a level of production and dedication more typical of film or theatre.

Frackowiak discusses participating in McQueen’s “Plato’s Atlantis”—in more commercial terms, his Spring/Summer 2010 collection—which was his second-to-last show for his eponymous brand, and introduced his infamous Armadillo shoes, 11.8”-high, extraterrestrial platforms that required four zips to secure them on the foot.

“He was like a movie director,” Frackowiak says. “We had to be like aliens and he told us this. He said, Listen, you have to have your face strong, you have to be powerful.”

“I was really scared,” Frackowiak says of walking in such a high-pressure, high profile show, in a pair of shoes that were nearly impossible to walk in. “I wanted him to be proud of me, and proud that he has such an army of models.”

McQueen, a film by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, is now in theaters.