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Girl with the Pearl Platform

Yes, San Francisco's first Alexander McQueen store has gargoyles.

Sarah Burton’s Vatican-meets-vamp fall collection includes these pearl-studded platform wedges.

Befitting a designer once known for his over-the-top-ness, San Francisco’s first Alexander McQueen boutique (55 Maiden Ln., near Grant  Ave.), opening this month, is a veritable fashion fun house. (Select decorative influences: Francis Bacon’s paintings of popes, the surrealist H.R. Giger, Rorschach ink blots, the human skeleton, and the female form.) Opulent, theatrical, and slightly macabre, the 2,700-square-foot space—conceived by McQueen creative director Sarah Burton and the recently deceased architect David Collins—is filled with McQueen hallmarks. The marble floor has been smashed and reassembled; gargoyles peer from molded plaster panels imprinted with wings, shells, and sea horse tails; and velvet furniture is anchored by solid-bronze hooves and claws. Ready-to-wear dangles from black lacquer rails, while shoes, bags, and skull-print scarves are arrayed across wooden shelves suspended from polished brass chains. This season, look for accessories inspired by Burton’s Vatican-meets-vamp fall collection—pearl-studded platform wedges included ($1,295).

Originally published in the September issue of San Francisco

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