In both The widows of Culloden and The Highland Rape Collections McQueen convey his anger toward the rest of the world for the lack of respect towards a country in which he is very patriotic towards Scotland McQueen emphasises his belief that Scotland had been dealt a really hard hand It s marketed the world over as haggis bagpipes But no one ever puts anything back into it through both collections but presents different levels of rage Created in 1995 the Highland Rape collection like many of McQueen s collection causes controversy within the media due to the misconception of the name and appearance of the models rendering them to believe that the McQueen was using the horrificness of rape and abuse to gain attention Consequently leading to the press labelling the experience disturbing and McQueen a misogynist However the true intention of McQueen was to show a bitter and enraged view on the way Scotland has been treated Its strong statement on ethnic cleansing in the 18th and 19th centuries continually impacted the clothing and styling throughout the full collection
The collection also demonstrated McQueen s well known views on Femininity Through the versatility of colours with ripped lace as well as the placement of sheer materials and exposure of some of the model s breasts McQueen reached the goal of a feminine style while still giving a clear message of distress and anger Furthermore McQueen also emphasised his patriotic nature of Scotland by incorporating his family tartan and tradition Scottish styling
The red and black tartan from the highland region represented McQueen s personal ties to the collection highlighting the need for his believes to be shown in a peaceful but powerful way Within the collection there was further controversy with the well known bumster The Bumster was McQueen s experiments in elongating the body with the exposure of the bottom of the spine while also claiming that its the most erotic part of anyone s body man or women The Willows of Culloden was the long awaited return of a theatrical show by McQueen It was a more repressed and less hostile recollection of the earlier Highland Rape Collection The collection presents a more vivid picture of the Scottish Highlands using imagery of birds throughout the show as well as incorporating ideas from British the countryside The earthy tones and a birds nest headdress created by Philip Treacy and Shaun Leana portrayed the prominent highlands The elusive notion created a mixture of a fairytale scenes with an underlying awareness of his outrage of the treatment of Scotland The collection its self seemed to be separated into 3 sections presumably representative of the separation of society in its classes peasants middle class and royalty The first of the sections showed traditional 19th century styling with a bland pallet of colouring While the final of the sub collections exhibited striking tailoring in the creating of the gowns
Their hair messy and untamed continuously hinting at the overall message With further confusion on the meaning of the Highland Rape collection the model s appearance alluded to the misconception with smudged makeup and bewildered drugged up expressions the media is said to have speculated on the actual conditions of the models and questioned if the models in fact had been abused In the second show the similarly models faces were bare and hard but there hair was neat with 19th century styling showing the more reformed version of events My overall impression of both the Highland Rape collection and Widows of Culloden is that in both there is a clear imprint of McQueen s opinion on the way of the world and the strong view point exceeds predictable and boring designs Therefore creating a continuously whimsical array of clothing The precise arrangement of the clothing allowed for structure and movement establishing a strikingly collection Furthermore i believe that through both shows there was a clear narrative The mistreatment of Scotland presented to the audience through not only the clothing but the overall experience setting music and appearance of the models
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