Alexander McQueen CBE

Alexander McQueen is drinking absinthe with Cate Blanchett in his bedroom. They are drinking from an enormous silver cup designed by Alexander himself, reminiscent of a medieval feasting goblet. Perhaps the goblet’s two opposing faces represent the changes of humour to which one is susceptible when drinking absinthe, or perhaps they represent theatrical masks or the world of Punch and Judy. Whatever the meaning behind these two faces, the goblet is a powerful and emotive object.

Alexander carefully follows the ritual specific to the drinking of absinthe. The rare glasses made solely for the drink characteristically have a reservoir blown into the base as an accurate measure for the absinthe, as can be seen on the stem of this goblet. He places the pierced spoon over the goblet and tops it with a sugar cube, through which he carefully pours the absinthe. In Bohemian ritual, the sugar can be set alight to caramelise it, but the combination of the potent drink, the powerful goblet and the spark of conversation between Cate and Alexander provide more than enough fire for the occasion.