Representatives of McQueen, who died in 2010, say he would have loved the grotesque tribute
While breathable fabrics like cotton and linen are best advised on the hottest day of the year, a fashion designer is grabbing headlines for using another man-made material to create a line of bags and jackets – in this case, made from a leather fashioned out of the late designer Alexander McQueen’s skin.
Student Tina Gorjanc of Central Saint Martins in London has used McQueen’s DNA to grow human skin in a laboratory, which she has then tanned into leather. The fabric is now being used as part of her material futures programme at the prestigious fashion school.
Gorjanc has revealed that the ‘skin’ will be marked with tattoos, moles and freckles based on the real locations, size and design of McQueen’s. The designer, who died by suicide in 2010, was critically lauded in the fashion industry for his avant-garde designs.
Gorjanc launched her project under the title Pure Human in order to draw attention to “how corporations might one day exploit genetic information for luxury goods, and to showcase how little protection exists for a person’s DNA,” Quartz reports. The student designer managed to obtain samples of McQueen’s DNA from his 1992 collection Jack the Ripper Stalks his Victims, which saw the designer sew samples of his own hair into a number of garments.
Designer Alexander McQueen, known for his game changing and genre bending clothes and gowns [Pixabay]
The art project has also seen Gorjanc filed two patents, one for “the bioengineered genetic material that is grown in the lab using tissue-engineering technology and the process of de-extinction” and another for the designs themselves.
Representatives of McQueen have said that despite several news reports claiming that a representative from the house attended the show, the McQueen label has not endorsed the project.
The leather jackets and bags made from McQueen’s skin will likely never be sold, with Gorjanc revealing she expects them to be displayed in a museum.