McQueen bumsters fetch £3,500 at auction

First pair of trousers in fashion designer’s infamous line were made for drag artist Trixie Bellair

A model wearing Alexander Mcqueen's Bumsters in 1996
A model wearing Alexander Mcqueen’s Bumsters in 1996 Photograph: REX

The first pair of bumsters, Alexander McQueen’s infamous trousers that revealed the wearer’s bum cleavage, were sold on Tuesday at auction in London for £3,500.

Bumster trousers, which first appeared on the catwalk in 1996 and became a signature look throughout the designer’s career, represented McQueen’s first step towards becoming fashion’s most notorious bad boy.

The exaggeratedly low-slung trousers were an instant sensation, a symbol of the British designer’s ability to marry smart tailoring with the power to shock. Speaking in 2009, McQueen explained the appeal of a cut that he pioneered. “To me, that part of the body – not so much the buttocks but the bottom of the spine – that’s the most erotic part of anyone’s body, man or woman,” he said.

The pair sold at auction were made in 1992 for McQueen’s friend, drag artist Trixie Bellair. Unlike later McQueen catwalk pieces, which were known for being finely made, the inside of the bumsters reveals that they were put together on a sewing machine. The designer reportedly borrowed them back from Bellair to copy for the 1996 collection.

Other pieces for sale at Kerry Taylor Auctions included a short tartan dress with delicate lace work, for £16,250, and a silver beaded evening gown that could fetch £10,000.

His last full collection, Plato’s Atlantis, spring/summer 2010, was particularly highly prized. It is represented with two vividly printed dresses, one of which had an estimate of £12,000.

In March 2015 the V&A will host Savage Beauty, a retrospective of McQueen’s work that attracted more than 650,00 visitors when it debuted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2011.

McQueen died in February 2010.

Contributor

Lauren Cochrane

The GuardianTramp

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