Central Saint Martins student Tina Gorjanc, originally from Slovenia, has proposed a conceptual range of leather accessories produced with skin grown from late fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s DNA.
Continue reading if you’re not entirely creeped out yet.
The collection, entitled Pure Human, takes the DNA from McQueen’s collection Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims, which features locks of the designer’s hair encased in perspex. Gorjanc’s process involves extracting the genetic material from the hair and eventually harvesting the cells into skin culture, after which the material can be tanned and turned into human leather.
The project is designed to make us aware that in legal terms we don’t have full ownership of our bodily tissues — Gorjanc filed a patent application in May 2016, ensuring she was allowed to use the material made from McQueen’s genetic information.
“The Pure Human project was designed as a critical design project that aims to address shortcomings concerning the protection of biological information [...]. If a student like me was able to patent a material extracted from Alexander McQueen’s biological information as there was no legislation to stop me, we can only imagine what big corporations with bigger funding are going to be capable of doing in the future,” Gorjanc told Dezeen.
While at this stage the project is conceptual, the designer has been working together with a laboratory to successfully grow a skin sample. Gorjanc used pig skin in her model for the project, displayed at Central St Martin’s end-of-year art show.
Can you see yourself wearing someone else soon?