Friday, February 12, 2010

The "Highland Rape" Collection from the late Alexander McQueen

Just came across this quote while reading a Daily Mail article about the (extremely sad) death of fashion designer Alexander McQueen:

So there was the 1995 show entitled 'Highland Rape' which featured torn bodices hanging from the models' skirts and saw him accused of misogyny - something he hotly denied, insisting he'd simply been making a point about how 18th century Scotland had been over-romanticised. 

Intrigued, I did a little research and came across this on

His first taste of international notoriety came in the autumn of 1995, when he called his catwalk show "Highland Rape". He explained that the "rape" was of Scotland by the English; a subject in which he had "a special interest, as my family is of Scottish descent". The collection featured dishevelled and battered-looking models in torn clothing. McQueen transformed a loft-like industrial space into a brooding battleground of mayhem to show the clothes. 

He maintained that it symbolised the Battle of Culloden in which his ancestors were defeated and then slaughtered by British troops under the Duke of Cumberland. However, on another occasion he claimed he'd simply been making a point about how 18th-century Scotland had been over-romanticised.

 I am so glad I found this info... I had no idea about this collection or what it represented.

Rest in Peace, Mr. McQueen.

*Thanks to Scott from the forums at for the photo. 


  1. I was floored when I found this. I feel so bad that it took Alexander McQueen's death for me to discover he had a whole collection based on Culloden.

  2. This is great!..
    i'm in my final year of fashion college, for my final major i'm looking @ McQueen's Hightland rape but can not find the pictures anywhere!!..
    Do yuu have any links that could help me?
    Thank yuu so much

  3. Sarah'Lou,

    First off - I love your name. Second - I went to Philadelphia Textile (five million years ago LOL) and majored in Fashion Merchandising (I also answer to "Elle Woods"). And I am thrilled to help a fellow fashionista out! Here are some links to the "Highland Rape" collection. Alexander McQueen: What a loss. :( It kills me that I didn't know about Culloden when he was alive. I would have written him a thank you note for creating "Highland Rape". So inspiring.

    Here you go - this is a message board where someone posted tons of pics of that collection. Best of luck to you!! :) Let us know how it goes!

    PS - I believe Highland Rape was Winter 95.