Season Coverage

Never straying from controversy, Alexander McQueen embraced unpleasantry to accentuate beauty for his Fall/Winter 1995 collection, Highland Rape. At the time, McQueen was not focused on selling the clothes he was producing but instead created garments that communicated compelling and thought-provoking topics that were very personal to him. This collection reveled in Britain’s dark historical past, emphasizing the 18th and 19th-century rape of Scotland at Britain’s hands. A century later, Britain continued to exploit the Scottish. British designers romanticized Scottish apparel producing it for monetary gain, and this infuriated McQueen. To create a discourse around England’s rape of Scotland, models walked the runway distraught, battered, and bruised, at times exposing themselves entirely to the crowd. McQueen’s audience would misinterpret his message claiming that he was “portraying women who had been raped,” going as far as to call him a misogynist that objectified women. The controversy surrounding Alexander McQueen’s Highland Rape brought him to the forefront of the world, allowing him to be recognized by LVMH, leading to his appointment as the head of Givenchy in 1996.

Written by Leonardo Hurtado


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