Having once reversed the spectacle, McQueen effected a further reversal by turning the audience into voyeurs when the show started. The lighting went down on the audience and came on inside the box, which proved to be made of reflective surveillance glass, mirrored inside as well as out. This time the models inside the box could not see the audience but they could clearly see their own reflections. Thus the audience could watch the models watching themselves. For ten minutes the models preened, strutted and admired their own reflections, staging a solitary performance before the mirror that in real life would only occur in the privacy of the bedroom, but with the additional frisson that their simulation of solitary pleasure was performed, like a sex show, to an audience of fashion voyeurs concealed behind a one-way mirror.
Alexander McQueen, Voss, Spring–Summer 2001. Photograph Chris Moore, courtesy Alexander McQueen
Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, Modernity and Deathliness by Caroline Evans, Yale University Press