Group of three reverse sides of an invitation for the Alexander McQueen fashion show, 'Highland Rape,' staged in the British Fashion Council tent on the east lawn of the Natural History Museum on March 3, 1995, as part of the designer’s controversial Autumn/Winter 1995 collection. The invitation, which measures 8.25″ x 11.75″, features a credit list for the production, with an upper image of stitches on skin, a dedication to designer Silvia Gaspardo Moro, and a quote to left side: “The Scottish Highlands have been of great inspiration to many designers in the past. But they have been romanticized all too often. There were swathes of tartan but only as a protection against the elements. Protection proved not to be enough against the fury of soldiers, as in many places and at many times across the world.” In overall fine condition, with central folds and light creasing.
In spite of the press’ criticism and claims of misogyny, ‘Highland Rape’ is largely considered McQueen’s breakthrough collection. The aggressive designs and contentious use of ‘rape’ in the title, McQueen insisted, was a commentary on the Highland Clearances levied against Scottish communities in the nineteenth century. In his words, the collection was ‘a shout against English designers…doing flamboyant Scottish clothes. My father’s family originates from the Isle of Skye, and I’d studied the history of the Scottish upheavals and the Clearances. People were so unintelligent they thought this was about women being raped—yet Highland Rape was about England’s rape of Scotland.’ From The Alexander McQueen Archive of Ruti Danan. Learn more about Alexander McQueen.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.