I recently saw on the internet that Vans launched a limited edition of shoes “Frida Khalo”, like a tribute to this amazing Mexican artist, famous for her self-portraits and artwork inspired by nature and Mexico. Once my curiosity satisfied about their shoes, I realized that collaborations between painters and designers are not something new at all!
Art and fashion, two seemingly opposite worlds that in reality have a lot in common!
If we take a minute to think about it, painting and fashion are not that different. A painting could be defined as a set of colors disposed on a surface - usually a canvas - which represents, abstractly or realistically, an emotion or feelings that aim to create to the viewer a reflection. From this definition, fashion design is nothing else than art on textiles. Moreover, paintings also retraced and evolved together with our society and our innovation.
Fashion is quite similar in the sense that it also retraced and evolved these past years accordingly with our society, and aims to express our inner-self. Think about all the revolutionary changes in women's clothing such as trousers that Coco Channel and Yves Saint-Laurent will draw for independent women in the '50s and '60s.
Even if the Art traditional division doesn’t include fashion, to me fashion designers definitely are artists, and when two artists met, it gave birth to incredible creations.
5 fashion designers that got inspired by art
Schiapparelli and Dalì
Elsa Schiaparelli is an Italian stylist of the 20th century who influenced a lot of women's fashion. She collaborated with the famous Salvador Dali and created the lobster dress. This dress is probably one of the earliest and most famous collaborations between fashion designer and an artist.
This dress got a “mild reception” from the public because of the lobster’s placement on the dress that, according to some people, gives an erotic tension to the dress.
Yves Saint Laurent and Mondrian
The Mondrian Collection of Yves Saint Laurent isn’t really a collaboration since the fashion designer got inspired by the painter and decided to complete a homage collection Piet Mondrian, to this incredible modernist artist. YSL designed six cocktail dresses with black lines and blocks of primary colors, directly inspired by Lozenge Composition With Four Yellow Lines (1933).
These dresses became a symbol of the new haute couture; something easier to wear and far from the total mono-color look!
Yves Saint Laurent and Van Gogh
Yves Saint Laurent showed again his passion for art in 1988 when he presented a new collection of clothes directly inspired by two famous paintings of van Gogh, "Sunflowers" and "Irises". YSL created so many nuances and details in the flowers that each jacket required over six hundred hours of work, making them some of the most expensive pieces in the world.
YSL was also one of the first to use textiles with animal prints and to choose black models for his fashion parades.
Jeff Koons and Louis Vuitton
Jeff Koons is an American artist, often considered the successor of Andy Warhol and the king of Pop Art. His work is mainly about denouncing consumerism and making fun of the kitsch style of Americans. He worked together with the French brand, Louis Vuitton, to design a very original bag and accessories collection!
The artworks include Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Titian’s Mars, Fragonard’s Girl with a Dog, van Gogh’s Wheat Fields and Cypresses, and Rubens’ Tiger Hunt.
“These artworks represent both the visual breadth of the canon of art history and the interconnectedness of artists working across the centuries.”
Salvatore Ferragamo and the sustainable fashion
“Sustainable thinking”, this is the name of the exhibit imagined by Stefania Ricci, director of the Museum and Ferragamo foundation. A narrative path between artistic creations and installations, focusing on natural textile and sustainable solutions.
This dress is one of the artistic creations: made in viscose, embroidered and painted by the artist Ambra Lucidi.
We could mention a lot of other collaborations between fashion and art, especially in these last decades. It seems that art and fashion inspired each other for years and that's not about to stop!
So what's next? Feel free to send us interesting collaborations between fashion designers and painters!
If you are a fashion designer... then you can also look for inspiration on Artupia!