“You find beauty in the ugliest places,” maverick fashion designer Alexander McQueen assured jeweler Shaun Leane. Modern jewelry does not always aim to flatter. Some of the most spectacular examples assert mastery over the female body. This is jewelry on the edge; designed to push the limits of glamour, courting danger and even pain.
The Yashmak is a veil concealing all of the face except the eyes, which is worn by some Muslim women in public. This metal Yashmak is part of a collection of jewelry that was designed for Alexander McQueen by Leane, who was not only a collaborator of McQueen’s, buts also a good friend.
Considered to be one of the top twenty most spectacular pieces in McQueen’s oeuvre, the Yashmak is created from aluminum plates cast from molds. The plates are linked by chains and inset at the center with red, Cabochon Swarovski crystals. Designed for McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2000 collection, which initially explored the clashing of Middle Eastern and Western cultures, the Yashmak acted as a symbol of Middle Eastern dress.
Photographed as Part of Jewelry: The Body Transformed, on Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC from November 12th, 2018 Through February 24th, 2019.
Alexander McQueen collaborated with the jeweler Shaun Leane to create this silver Crown of Thorns Headpiece (1996 – 97) formed from three intertwined briars. The piece was featured in McQueen’s Autumn/Winter 1996-97 collection entitled Dante, after the medieval Italian poet whose Divine Comedy portrayed an allegorical vision of the afterlife.
Photographed at the Cloisters as Part of the Exhibit, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, On View Through October 8th, 2018 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (at both the Fifth Avenue and Cloisters Locations) in NYC.
Note: As of 11/5/18 This Piece is Now On Exhibit at The Met Fifth Avenue as Part of the Exhibit Jewelry: The Body Transformed