We now have the chance to get our hands on a piece of Alexander McQueen, but not in the way you might expect.
Tina Gorjanc, a fellow graduate of London’s esteemed fashion school, Central Saint Martins, has created her final project out of human skin.
Cull any horror movie images that may come to mind. She’s used a chunk of Alexander McQueen’s hair instead. Not as scary, but equally creepy.
In his 1992 collection, Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims, McQueen used his own hair suspended in the lining of his thorn print coat. Gorjanc was given access to take a sample of the hair by the institution who now owns the pieces, though she wouldn’t reveal the source.
The hair was used by DNA lab technicians from London’s Imperial College to extract genetic information from McQueen’s DNA. Not able to patent McQueen’s DNA, the information was instead used with pre-existing skin to replicate every aspect of McQueen’s skin.
The skin was treated so it could expand, and heat was applied to kill the first layer of cells, creating leather.
The leather was used to create coats and bags, some displaying replicas of McQueen’s tattoos in the exact same size and placement. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but this is taking it next level.
Unlike animal leather, human leather is subject to sunburn as it has less protected layers. In other words, you’ll need to slip, slop, slap your bag.
Known for his horrifying, shock inducing and hair-raising designs, McQueen was a formidable force in the fashion world before his death in 2001.
Not only is the Slovenian graduate imitating McQueen’s gothic design tendencies, she is reviving the beloved designer in her Pure Human collection.
A collection made to raise eyebrows, Gorjanc also raised questions about a person’s ownership over their genetic information.
Gorjanc used Alexander McQueen as a tool to show that regardless of a person’s prestige and social standing, there is no protection over their genetic DNA. It also helped that the DNA from his hair was authentic, and McQueen’s aims to forever push the envelope were equally enticing.
See, it’s not all just skin deep.