Exhibited at Sotheby's Evening SaleThe 45 pieces created over the past 20 years are iconic pieces for both Sean Lin's career and the history of fashion and jewelry, so collectors from different camps will fight at the auction. The world of fashion will clash with the world of art. “This is a really special auction,” says Sean Lin. - The collection demonstrates a very high level of creative freedom. Today one can only dream of such a thing. It reflects the time when jewelry, performance and fashion were one. I thought a lot about the important role of this auction in the debate about relationships within the industry, about the interaction of different arts. And this auction is also intended to answer many questions that I myself asked myself at the beginning of my career: what I create is art? Fashion? Or jewelry?"
Sean Lean grew up in London's dubious Finsbury Park area. And he himself was never a good boy. He dropped out of school. As a teenager, he worked for his father in a construction office. During his smoke breaks he dreamed of growing up as soon as possible and becoming a fashion designer. Yielding to the persuasion of his son, the parent found him at Kingsway Princeton College (now Westminster Kingsway College) a one-year course in design, but jewelry.
At first everything was fine, but six months later he kicked up again. Studying jewelry techniques from textbooks is boring, give him fashion. Teachers connected. They convinced the obstinate student that he had a talent for a jeweler. Go, they say, get a job for a couple of months in one of the Hatton Garden workshops, DIY jewelry with your own hands: if you like it - you will stay, no - you will go to the designers. And the rebel stayed there for seven years. Working with precious metals and stones turned out to be exciting, and the talent was confirmed in practice. The gray-haired craftsmen trusted the self-taught boy both classic tiaras set with diamonds and expensive personalized jewelry with cyclopean stones for clients from the Middle East. But most of all, Lin loved to restore antique jewelry. Victorian medallions, Gothic chains, Art Deco brooches, Art Nouveau pendants - all eras and styles have passed through his hands. And the more he occupied himself with someone else's past, the more he wanted to do his own right now.
And then Sean met Alexander McQueen. They were introduced by a mutual friend in one of the pubs on Old Compton Street. The humble McQueen is a promising graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Loose Lin - unnamed intern with Hatton Garden … Both were 20. And away we go - together they drank, loved and voraciously read "120 days of Sodom". Sometimes McQueen would pick him up at the workshop. The atmosphere there was completely different. Romantic surroundings - Lin's mentors were fans of the Victorian era, instruments are scattered everywhere - time stood still within these walls a century ago. Lin constantly reveals that McQueen was delighted with all this. And so one day he asked Lin to make a trifle - a silver chain for a pocket watch. The young jeweler thought that his new friend wanted to decorate a jacket or waistcoat in a noble, Victorian manner. But no matter how it is. In the scandalous collection "Rape of Scotland" (1995), from which fashionable Puritans shied away like hell from incense, he passed chains through tartan and dresses torn at the chest, letting them out wherever necessary. They dangled so picturesquelywhat feminists saw in them - oh horror! - tampons. But McQueen dissuaded: women are just playing the role of Scotland, raped by English landowners. Nothing.
1) Tiara "Crown of Thorns" (Alexander McQueen, Dante collection, estimate - $ 40-60 thousand)
2) Earrings from black oyster shells (Alexander McQueen, Voss collection, $ 4-6 thousand)
3-4) Coiled Corset (Alexander McQueen, Overlook collection, $ 250-300 thousand)
5-6) Earring "Porcupine quills" (Alexander McQueen, Irere collection, $ 25-35 thousand)
7) Brooch "Thistle" (for Sarah Jessica Parker, $ 40-60 thousand)
8) Questionnaire "Fang" (for Isabella Blow, $ 10-15 thousand)
Shown Lin all this hype was on hand - he was seething with energy, gushing with ideas, longing for a challenge and provocations. And even though McQueen was angry, with each collection he increased his degree more and more. In Hunger, a collection inspired by the erotic 80s thriller of the same name starring Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie, McQueen wanted something edgy and animal. Lin came up with a fang earring - not in both ears, but in one. The models didn't even have to grin. Further more. Aluminum skeleton corset. “It's impossible,” Lin said. “Nothing is impossible - I'm sure of it,” McQueen replied. So Lin, by the standards of a real skeleton, created an aluminum chest frame with a protruding tail of the oldest invertebrate. After that, there really were no boundaries. Any design - the craziest idea was implemented. Created without regard to the tastes and attitudes of marketers - then they could still afford to ignore them.
The lion's share of the jewelry exhibited at Sotheby's was created for Alexander McQueen and Givenchy, where McQueen served as creative director for several years. Although Lin founded his own jewelry house, House of Shaun Leane in 1999, he continued to work with McQueen until his death in 2010. One of the top lots is Coiled Corset, which consists of 97 aluminum rings: they are both a slave vise and a feminine corset. It premiered at McQueen's most romantic collection, The Overlook (Fall-Winter 1999/00), inspired by Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. This is the only item in the auction that both designers signed up to. Estimate - $ 250 thousand - 300 thousand. The same amount was appreciated for the "exoskeleton" from the spring-summer collection Untitled (1998). The struggle for the Crown of Thorns will almost certainly unfold, in which at the show of the Dante collection (fall-winter 1996/97) in London's Christ Church to the accompaniment of the organ and the church choir, the damn beautiful aristocrat, model and McQueen's friend Honor Fraser fluttered onto the cruciform podium.
Jewelry for the muses - Isabella Blow, Daphne Guinness, Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica Parker - is a separate chapter in the lives of Lin and McQueen, and at the Sotheby’s auction. Here, the focus is on The Glove (2011), an 18K white gold and diamond evening glove for Daphne Guinness. Heir to the great Guinness breweryloves armor, so Sean Lean's glove only pretends to be a sophisticated evening accessory with fancy precious birds. In fact, instead of lace, she has chain mail. Miniature rings were collected by the piece, so the glove sat on the hand of this blue-blooded obstinate like a glove. Isabella Blow's famous leg bracelet will also be on sale. McQueen's eccentric girlfriend immediately noticed Sean, blessed their creative union and ordered him a predatory questionnaire "Fang" (1997).
Before Sean Lean's collection travels to the world's private collections and museums, it will be on display at Sotheby's galleries in New York from November 30 to December 4.>