Alexander McQueen, Tales from Shanghai

Published August 29, 2012

Alexander McQueen‘s new store in Shanghai is a cabinet of curiosities. Inspired by everything from Francis Bacon’s grotesque Pope paintings, to Rorschach inkblots, and raw primitivism, the 1600-square-foot boutique is an all-consuming visual and sensory experience. The walls are covered with lacquered linen and gilded mirrors float throughout the store, while eerie skulls and grimacing gargoyles perch on molded plaster panels. The femininity of soft velvet furnishings is offset by solid bronze monster claws affixed to the furniture like feet. Opulent shoes are displayed in an eroticized fashion on “fetish” tables and polished brass “monkey” chains suspend stained grey wood shelves. “It’s very McQueen to see something from a distance and think it’s one thing and then to look up close and discover something else,” Sarah Burton explains. “It’s important to us that everything in the stores feels very precious.”