British Fashion Designers Immortalized on Disembodied Postage Stamps

Do you covet an exotic feathered frock by Alexander McQueen, a sharp Paul Smith suit, or a poufy gold number from the maximalist mind of Zandra Rhodes? Signed, sealed, delivered, they’re yours, in the form of a new set of postage stamps honoring “Great British Fashion.” Issued this month by the U.K.’s Royal Mail, the ten stamps also feature signature looks by Hardy Amies (best known for his work for The Queen), Norman Hartnell, famed King’s Road boutique Granny Takes a Trip, Ossie Clark, Savile Row tailor Tommy Nutter, Jean Muir, and Vivienne Westwood, represented by her 1993 Harlequin dress. You may recognize the disembodied images as the work of Sølve Sundsbø, who was responsible for the jaw-dropping photographs in the “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” exhibition catalogue, published last year by Yale University Press. For that project, he photographed McQueen designs on both live, painted models and white mannequins, and then combined the images to stunning effect. Alas, the stamps dispense with bodies entirely, thanks to the stark white ground, creating a creepy effect that we think has a lot to do with the decision to include those floating hairstyles. The Royal Mail decided to create the fashion series based upon the success of the Mary Quant mini skirt stamp issued in 2009 as part of its “British Design Classics” set.