Shaun Leane Maker of McQueen’s Armor. Auction and Sale Highlights from His Collection.

Sotheby’s catalogue image.

Classically trained goldsmith Shaun Leane and Alexander McQueen made magic together. I have long admired the fantasy that they created together. The pieces made by Shaun are stunning, oversized, full of whimsy, pain, and pays homage to the idea of armor.   As Alexander McQueen once said,

“I especially like the accessory for its sadomasochistic aspect”…

In one moment all of those intense feelings were expressed via their collaboration during each season. Now with the impending sale of Shaun’s personal archive from the McQueen years, I wanted to revisit his work and some of the iconic pieces that will be presented by the joint Sotheby’s and Kerry Taylor Auctions event.

One of the most interesting quotes concerning how they began comes from an equally great interview via Shaun and hint magazine:

“Lee, how are we going to afford to make jewelry? He said, well we won’t make it in gold. We’ll use other materials like silver or brass or aluminum. If you just apply those skills to other mediums you can create anything. That changed everything for me” (Shaun Leane, hint magazine).  Follow link for more.

They were friends first and both from London, but each embraced the challenge of their work as fashion and art, pushing the boundaries so far that the accessories often held a bit of danger in the wearing of them. Runway pieces took months to complete and models sometimes had to be screwed into their “accessories”.  I admire their work together because they pushed those boundaries, the viewer, and the body to the brink.  I wish I could own every piece. I love how tough they, are as well as how beautifully they armed the wearers. Daphine Guinness describes what it is like to wear his pieces via the Sotheby’s interview about her iconic Shaun made glove which is going to be in this sale:

Whether it be the glove or other accessories, what is it like to wear Shaun’s pieces?
There’s a feeling of being amplified. You’re augmented in the right sense of the word. It is empowering, and I also feel he’s with me. He’s my great friend, and it’s lovely to know I’ve got something of his on me, protecting me like an amulet (Daphine Guinness, via Sephanie Sporn for Sotheby’s). Follow the link for the complete interview.

Here is a quick list of my favorites from the upcoming December auction. All images from the Sotheby’s catalogue-