Tartan & Hair

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Alexander McQueen, “Highland Rape” collecion, AW 95-96

Among the number of fashion titles to be published this year, two caught my attention most, partially because they are both focused on a single “material” or textile. The first discusses the history of tartan and its symbolic significance up to the present day.

Particularly fascinating is the book’s discussion of the traditional, yet rebellious lineage of Tartan, which was exploited by contemporary designers such as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, as well as by artists like Matthew Barney. Written by Jonathan Faiers, it is the first in a series by Berg titled “Textiles that Changed the World” dedicated to one single textile. The next book in the series will be on felt.

Also of interest, is a collection on hair—Hair Styling, Culture and Fashion (to be published by Berg and edited by Geraldine Biddle-Perry, Sarah Cheang )—which discusses the cultural and symbolic import of hair both on and off the body, with articles ranging from “Fashionable Hair In The Eighteenth Century: Theatricality and Display” (by Louisa Cross) to “Hairpieces: Hair, Identity and Memory in the Work of Mona Hatoum” (by Leila McKellar).


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Mona Hatoum, Hair Necklace, 1995

Posted in Designers, Publications, Textiles


3 Responses to “Tartan & Hair”

  1. R.I.P – The Fashion Industry Loses a Great | Off The Rack - The Official Blog of Shoptoit.ca Says:

    [...] And tomorrow I vow to commemorate him appropriately with some mad fashion salute to his “Highland Rape” collection of Fall/Winter 1995…what a scandal that [...]

  2. ruti@rutidanan.com Says:

    I worked for lee in 1995/96 as his assistant and I have few garment from the “High land rape” collection made from the mcqueen tartan. and the garments are so amazing to wear
    I feel sick to my stomach over his passing. He was what initially inspired me to design, he was willing to break all the rules to make something beyond beautiful, beyond anything that had been tried. He took his dreams and made them tangible and we viewed his dreams for just a moment as the models sashayed down the runway. I just cant believe it, the world has lost something very special, something that can be imitated but never replaced.

  3. Ruti Says:

    I love what you did .

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