Where the runway meets the street

The aesthetic of the late, great designer Alexander McQueen was one that always carried a haunted sense of darkness. His savage silhouettes and otherworldly performance techniques always evoked a sense of unease, exemplified in works like his “Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims” collection. McQueen would be proud to know then that a new project from up-and-coming designer Tina Gorjanc honors his legacy in the most personal and terrifying way imaginable: a collection of coats and bags created from cloned pieces of his skin, titled “Pure Human.”

Such a task seems nigh impossible, but Gorjanc (a graduate of London’s prestigious fashion school Central Saint Martens) was able to work closely with a DNA lab in creating a material actually made from the regenerated skin of the late designer. Gorjanc got her hands on a piece of McQueen’s hair (a remnant from the aforementioned “Jack the Ripper” collection) and the lab was able to transmute this hair into a living, breathing tissue again. She was even able to include the exact same tattoos just as they appeared in size and location, and if that wasn’t eerie enough, it’s actually possible for this regrown skin to be sunburned when left outside for too long.

Aside from providing the best cannibalistic couture since Buffalo Bill’s reveal in The Silence of the Lambs, this collection serves as Gojranc’s commentary on ownership law. For instance, there are no standing property cases on the books when it comes to human tissue, meaning that most of us have no claim to something as fundamental to our body as our hair. Gojanc spells the possibility of just how dangerous this could be in the hands of a corporation with ulterior motives. For now, the designer has a temporary patent on McQueen’s genetic information, but one that speaks to the growing importance of keeping the corporate world as far away as possible from the human body.

Visit Gojanc’s website for more information on the “Pure Human” project.

In related news, the house of Alexander McQueen has partnered with Globe-Trotter on a sleek line of luggage.

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