British fashion designer Alexander McQueen continues to inspire other fashion designers even after his passing. According to an article published by Harper’s Bazaar, Tina Gorjanc, a fashion design student, is creating a collection of bags and jackets made of Alexander McQueen’s skin.
Tina Gorjanc is currently a student at Central Saint Martins in London, the same art school McQueen attended. In her collection, “Pure Human,” Gorjanc wants to open discussions on how businesses, in the future, may exploit genetic information for luxury products.
Gorjanc has created concept pieces of “Pure Human” wherein she used pig skin to showcase what the final pieces in her collection will look like.
— Highsnobiety (@highsnobiety) July 18, 2016
Last May, Tina Gorjanc filed a patent application for “bioengineered genetic material that is grown in the lab using tissue-engineering technology and the process of de-extinction,” which means that the genetic material will be extracted from a source that is already deceased.
According to Quartz, Gorjanc will not be able to get the patent for Alexander McQueen’s DNA, but if she is granted the patent, she will have ownership of a material consisting of Alexander McQueen’s genetic information.
Gorjanc’s plan is to grow skin from McQueen’s DNA in a lab and tan it so the material can be used to create leather jackets and bags. According to Gorjanc, the final products will include McQueen’s tattoos, freckles, and moles.
“With the tattoos and manipulation of freckles and sunburning, I wanted to showcase the material. I think that was really important in terms of getting this connection between the jacket and McQueen.”
The DNA of Alexander McQueen that will be used to grow skin will come from his hair, acquired from his “Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims Collection” that he showcased in 1992 for his graduation. In 1997, McQueen explained the inspiration behind his collection.
“The inspiration behind the hair came from Victorian times when prostitutes would sell theirs for kits of hair locks, which were bought by people to give to their lovers. I used it as my signature label with locks of hair in Perspex. In the early collections, it was my own hair.”
Right now, Tina Gorjanc’s Alexander McQueen skin project is just a concept, but she is currently working with a laboratory to iron out the process of growing skin. The owner of Alexander McQueen’s “Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims” collection has already agreed to give McQueen’s hair from one of the pieces once Gorjanc has been granted the patent and the process of growing skin has been perfected in the lab.
— Dezeen (@Dezeen) July 12, 2016
Tina Gorjanc explained her inspiration for the project and the reason why she is doing it, as reported by De Zeen magazine.
“If a student like me was able to patent a material extracted from Alexander McQueen’s biological information as there was no legislation to stop me, we can only imagine what big corporations with bigger funding are going to be capable of doing in the future.”
Alexander McQueen worked as Givenchy’s chief designer from 1996 to 2001. He was awarded British Designer of the Year in 1996, 1997, 2001, and 2003 and was also awarded the International Designer of the Year award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2003. McQueen took his own life at the age of 40 in 2010, just a few days after his mother died of cancer.
[AP Photo/Stuart Ramson]