Human Skin has been used for fashion in the past (seriously, look it up) but in this day and age, can it be acceptable? Read on for the crazy fashion idea one student has.
Alexander McQueen was a graduate of Central Saint Martins which is a world leading centre for art and design education and another graduate of that famous institution, Tina Gorjanc, from Slovenia, has experimented and developed the idea of creating a collection made from ‘human leather,’ which is made in a laboratory using McQueen’s DNA. This was extracted from one of his hairs which McQueen used in the labels of his own first collection and the owner of these pieces had agreed to give her one hair in order to extract his genetic information for her research. Tina is not in any way “phased” by the process and claims that there is nothing creepy about it. Explaining she said: “You use a process which is called de-extinction, in which a biological agent is applied to the hair in the form of liquid and you extract certain genetic information from this,” well it’s all in a day’s work we suppose.
It all began when Tina was working on her final project for her degree and she then used pig skins to create prototype backpacks and jackets. She obviously has an enquiring mind because she then worked in the lab to create test samples of ‘leather’ made from McQueen’s DNA, initially to see if it would happen, which it clearly did. Explaining the technique used to “grow” the leather, she made it quite clear that once the process had been completed the cells are dead and it is not possible to extract any more biological information from the leather and the finished item really does look like leather.
There are of course, some ethical questions, but Gorjanc claims that this is her intention and demonstrates how our biological information isn’t protected. Well Gorjanc has applied for a patent for this project, which she says shows that you can patent someone else’s genetic information. She has no plans to make the collection for commercial purposes, a disappointment if you though that you might walk around with a bit of Alexander McClean slung over your shoulder, it is just to demonstrate how genetic information could potentially be exploited.
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