The spring 2014 runway shows were awash in artistic designs and patterns. Bright and imaginative, these collections made their mark. Miuccia Prada teamed up with street artists to create portraits on women’s faces that she applied to dresses and coats. Raf Simons used mixed media to send a message in his Dior collection. Bright streaks of color, in geometric or brushstroke form, graced the runways of Calvin Klein, Celine, Versace and more.
But fashion-art collaborations and fashion inspired by art is nothing new.
Probably the earliest and best-known example of mixing art and fashion is the collaborations between Elsa Schiaparelli and a group of Surrealist artists in the 1930s. The most famous garments are her work with Salvador Dali on her Lobster Dress and Shoe Hat in 1937, as well as the Tear Dress in 1938. These garments went on to become iconic works of art in the fashion world.
Then the 1960s rolled around and with it, a revolution in dress and style. Piet Mondrian and Yves Saint Laurent’s Op art collaboration was perhaps the most well-known fashion-art collaboration to come from the ‘60s.
Collaborations between artists and fashion designers surged throughout the 2000s—some notable pairings include Rodarte and Daren Aronofsky in 2010; Alexander McQueen’s lasting inspiration from one of his muses, Bjork; and Louis Vuitton’s speckled partnership with Yayoi Kusama in 2012.
One thing’s for sure: design and fine art will always find a way to intersect.
1. Schiaparelli & Dali Lobster Dress. Photo by George Platt Lynes for Harper’s Bazaar, April 1937
– Tanisha Wallis
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