Alexander McQueen: Dance of Death

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Published November 23, 2009

Ballet, cigarette smoke and stilettos have something in common—an elegant, delicate beauty that’s great for your legs if not for your health in the long run. They’re all on the side of  Georges Bataille’s dictum that “Eroticism, it may be said, is assenting to life up to the point of death.”  And few non-dancers watch The Nutcracker and think about hip replacement surgery, which is why Alexander McQueen’s Titanic Ballerina pump has such uncanny erotic allure. Its overtly sexy silhouette is like a direct flick of the finger to death, decay and the consequences of decadence. And of course Lady GaGa gets it—she proved herself prima in McQueen’s crippling creations. We’re caught in a bad romance with these smoking shoes.