For our latest Object of Desire, created in collaboration with photographer Joss McKinley, we focus on the spectacular accessories created for the collection, created from tortoiseshell plexi, which makes reference to sumptuous honey.
One of the most memorable moments of the spring/summer 2013 show season was Sarah Burton's intricately ornate collection for Alexander McQueen. Introduced as a study of feminity, Burton spliced ideas of erotica with the natural world, using bees to influence silhouettes, fabrics, palette, embellishments and the collection's presentation: a high-gloss, gold honeycomb floor and black gloss honeycomb backdrop dominated by an oversized peephole. "It’s about sensuality and skin but not nudity," explained Burton. "We also wanted to express lightness, for the clothes almost to hover over the women who wear them."
For our latest Object of Desire, we focus on the extraordinary accessories created for the collection, created from tortoiseshell plexi, which makes reference to sumptuous honey. The exquisite pieces, including cages, harnesses, busts, cuffs and neckpieces, are captured as briliant still lives by photographer Joss McKinley. McKinley is renowned for his fine art aesthetic and being influenced by the natural world. Here he introduces a vintage oversized bee model as his prop.
"McKinley is renowned for his fine art aesthetic and influence of the natural world; here he introduces a vintage oversized bee model as his prop"
Plexi is a fascinating material for accessories, delicate in its creation and aesthetic. In production, it is heated so it becomes malleable and then moulded into the desired shape; the plexi solidifies in three minutes so it needs to be handled quickly and precisely. It is an intense endeavour that requires the handiwork of many specialists at once. The bust is moulded to the shape of a model so it has a unique form. The plexi is polished to give it the desired finish and finally the handcrafted brass bees are screwed on.
The tortoiseshell plexi cuff, priced £470, the tortoiseshell plexi waist belt, priced £650, and the tortoishell plexi neckpiece with hand-crafted bees, priced £860 are available now in Alexander McQueen boutiques and online.
Text by Laura Bradley