While the pairing of art and fashion is not a new idea, it surely is a novelty on the rise. Countless catwalks, major labels, designers, and boutique houses are all catching onto the trend of fashion infused with visual arts. This comes at no surprise as fashion is commonly considered wearable art. The collaboration between fashion and art is not only visually pleasing for the consumer but it is also mutually beneficial for the designer and artist. As fashion gains accreditation from the art, the artist is able to reach a wider audience that may have not be priorly attainable.
Fashion and art collide more regularly than one might think. The marriage of fashion and art has been explored by numerous designers who have experienced much success. For instance, designer Elsa Schiaparelli is considered a guru of the fashion/art infusion. Her whimsical imagination has been mixed with different inspired works from the famous abstract artist Salvador Dali. This genius collision has been the creative force behind several of her most notable works including her 1937 iconic Lobster dress.
The emblematic piece was comprised of a plain white silk fabric featuring a massive lobster hand painted by Dali himself. The dress was a tribute to his 1934 artwork New York Dream-Man Finds Lobster in Place of Phone.Geometric Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian has also dabbled in the fashion art crossover. His impressive neoplasticism style was noticed by Hermes designer Lola Prusac in the 1930s. Prusac gathered much inspiration from the artist's large white backgrounds, blocks of primary colors, and grids of thick black lines. From these influential designs Prusac created a large range of Hermes bags and trunks featuring square inlays of blue, red, and yellow leather. Mondrian's work was so remarkable that his arts recognition surpassed his lifetime and was later recognized by Yves Saint Laurent, a legendary French designer. In 1965, Yves Saint Laurent experienced much success when he revealed his Fall Mondrian Collection
featuring six A-Line cocktail dresses with influences from the artist most iconic works. This line achieved so much success and public appreciation that it broke new ground for art's future role in the fashion industry.
Painters are not the only artists to gain attention from the world's leading fashion designers as several architects have also had works recognized, applauded, and utilized within the fashion realm. Archetypal designer, Coco Chanel identified the importance of this relationship when she stated that, Fashion is architecture, it's a matter of proportion. Couturier Paco Rabanne understood this factor as he incorporated architecture into several of his designs. In 1966, Rabanne utilized the influence of architecture within his very first runway show where he debuted his collection, 12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials. These one of a kind dress show featured scraps of rubber, and sheet metal that Rabanne was able to skilfully construct to match his models exact proportions.
The architecture and fashion infusion was also recognized by the late designer Alexander McQueen's team in 2013 as they announced a full collaboration with Damien Hirst. The result was titled Entomology and was both haunting yet ethereal. The line featured insects such as spiders and butterflies geometrically strewn across thirty individual scarves. Entomology was so successful that it popularly reinforced the idea of mixing architecture with fashion. However, Marc Jacobs was responsible for taking this unique architect/fashion collaboration to the next level. Jacobs joined forces with Louis Vuitton in 2013 and created not only an amazing line but also a breathtaking catwalk with conceptual artist Daniel Buren. Interestingly enough, Jacob granted Buren complete artist freedom on the monolithic set that even involved working escalators. The unforgettable runway was uniquely installed in the central courtyard of the Louvre making for a truly one of a kind marriage between art, architecture, and fashion.
Andy Warhol could not be left out of this fashion infusion as the ever innovative master artist dabbled in the wide world of design. Warhol began brainstorming design with small fashion illustrations that turned into advertisements for brands like Schiaparelli. Later on, Warhol began incorporating art and fashion on a grander scale as he worked his iconic Campbell's soup can into wearable pieces of clothing for New York women. Additionally, Gianni Versace utilized Warhol's work in his 1991 Pop Art collection. Warhol's accumulation of art in fashion has solidified his place in the fashion Hall of Fame.
Evidently, there is a vital and symbolic relationship between art and fashion. The artists, designers, and public thrive off of this one of a kind fusion and what is the world without art anyway? A barren landscape. As more and more of the population recognize this factor, the higher the two rise together and the stronger they become. The future is extremely promising for the talented designers and artists breaking into the alluring world of fashion.