Scarves and Skulls: Alexander McQueen and Damien Hirst Collaboration

17 Nov 2013

  • If there’s one thing that’s sure to get art and fashion fans in a frenzy this winter, it’s undoubtedly a collection by two of the most successful names to come out of Britain.

    Damien Hirst’s much-anticipated skull motif collaboration with esteemed fashion label Alexander McQueen has been unveiled, with a series of images and a short film being launched simultaneously alongside the exclusive scarf collection. Hirst has a history of collaborating with fashion brands and this month, the house of Alexander McQueen introduces Hirst’s newest collection.

    This new collaboration sees 30 designs drawn from the artist’s “Entomology” series - bugs, butterflies, spiders, and other insects form kaleidoscopic geometric shapes laid out in the signature McQueen skull motif. To go along with the collection, the fashion brand tapped London-based filmmaker and photographer Sølve Sundsbø to create a haunting short film featuring the silk scarves.

    The film features female figures wearing full-body dresses decorated with patterns from the scarf collection, but plays out in an evocative, almost surreal manner. The models move in slow-motion against a stark grey background, while the dress materials obscure their faces.

    The Hirst collaboration and short film come about in celebration of 10 years of Alexander McQueen’s eye-catching skull motifs, which have appeared in collections and on the runway throughout the brand’s history. After the designer’s tragic death in 2010, Hirst said it was “something we should have done years ago. I love Alexander McQueen and think this collaboration is a marriage made in heaven.”

    First appearing in the label’s Spring-Summer 2003 “Irere” collection, the skull motif has since become a McQueen icon, reproduced each season in new colours, materials, and patterns. Coincidentally, skulls have featured in Hirst’s work, too: in 2007, the artist produced a platinum cast of a human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, entitled “For The Love Of God” which reputedly sold for more than US$80 million.

    The scarves are available from Alexander McQueen boutiques worldwide.

    Sølve Sundsbø’s short film can be viewed at