In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the skull scarf, Alexander McQueen has presented a much anticipated exclusive collaboration with the influential artist Damien Hirst. The thirty limited edition designs have been unveiled in a short film by photographer Sølve Sundsbø who has also created films for Chanel and Gucci. The iconic Alexander McQueen scarf was initially seen in the Spring/Summer 2003 ‘Irere’ collection where it was shown trailing from waistbands and has since become internationally recognisable as a symbol of the house of McQueen. In the past decade, this signature accessory has been repeatedly reworked each season appearing in a new fabric, colour or pattern whilst always retaining its timeless appeal.
The thirty designs the two forces have created are limited edition and are all adapted from Hirst’s Entomology series which is a collection of extremely intricate paintings, all with themes of symmetry and concentricity. The methodical design of each of these paintings has been translated onto the scarves in kaleidoscope shapes, sometimes to form the signature McQueen logo centrally. There is an immediate contrast between the beauty of specimens such as butterflies and the smaller species such as maggots and beetles which invite a natural recoil, this is typical of both Hirst and McQueen as both houses provoke and invite strong reactions from their audiences. The juxtaposition in the paintings between these animals is a perfect representation of the many themes of contrast which have always featured in the collections of Alexander McQueen.
The collaboration between the two power houses has been much anticipated as both parties share similar design traits, most notable of these similarities is the synonymous interest in the human skull. This is cohesive throughout the Alexander McQueen collections in the form of the iconic silk skull scarf and is evident for Damien Hirst too from his 2007 exhibition “For The Love Of God” which featured a giant cast of a platinum skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds – the piece reportedly sold to a private buyer for £50 million.