“Spine” Corset, Untitled, spring/summer 1998

Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen
“Spine” Corset
Untitled, spring/summer 1998
Aluminum and black leather
Courtesy of Shaun Leane
Photograph © Sølve Sundsbø / Art + Commerce

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Andrew Bolton: McQueen found ideas everywhere: in the streets, in nature, in art, and in history. He was even inspired by a green sweater worn by the character Joey on the TV sitcom Friends. You can also see the influence of film in this somewhat sinister corset.

Shaun Leane: He was always fascinated by the spine. So he asked me to create a corset, which was the spine with the rib cage, so that the girl could actually wear this as a corset on the outside of her body, so we would see the beauty of these bone structures on the outside, attached to the dress.

And as we were doing it, Alexander came to me and said, “Will you put a tail on this?” And where he got that idea was out of the film The Omen. When the mother of the omen was discovered—her skeleton—she was half-raven and half-dog, and he was quite inspired by this.

In McQueen’s Words

“I find beauty in the grotesque, like most artists. I have to force people to look at things.”

Harper’s Bazaar, April 2007