Front side 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 two-sided invitation measures 7.5″ x 11.25″, with the front featuring an image of stitches on skin by Nico Schwartz, and the back featuring date, venue, and contact information on a white background. In fine condition, with central vertical and horizontal folds, and a ballpoint mark to reverse.
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.