Fashion and art have been flirting with each other for a while. You might go back to the 1930s when the legendary designer Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalí collaborated. One of their creations is a hat in the form of a shoe. Another one is infamous evening dress an American socialite wore to provoke her soon to be ex-husband, designed by Schiaparelli and featuring Dalí´s lobster dangling down the waistline.
Artists like Takashi Murakami and Yayoi Kusama worked with luxury labels. Like-minded designers and artists such as the late Alexander McQueen and British bad boy Damien Hirst joined creative forces to take us on a magical field trip of entomology.
Designers have long since paid tribute to artists they admire - Raf Simons, borrowed from Andy Warhol and the visionary Miuccia Prada paid tribute to female Manga artist who blazed a trail in a male-dominated art form. Comme des Garçons gave a nod to the Old Masters and Oscar de la Renta went Pop.
Designers use paintings, sculpture, and installations as visual inspiration to set the stage for their elaborate shows. They use art for color, pattern, silhouette, and mood, allowing arts influence to shape their collections and to transport us to a particular era and, most of all, a feeling in time.
Some consider fashion design itself as a work of art (and there have been some true artists in this field), some see it as an art form of craftsmanship and others as an empty obsession for the shallow. Whatever your view, when the cord is struck just right at perfect pitch, a designers vision can set a fire, and as an iconic painting, it can take our breath away, sear itself into our collective psyche and become a cultural marker. And when fashion and art start dancing in perfect sync like hungry lovers it can open up a whole new world of style. So, we are sure that we will continue to see collaborations between artists and brands. For three good reasons:
1) By definition, fashion is timely, seasonal, the latest flavor. Art gives grounding. It makes fashion less volatile, and more authentic.
2) Art can create a deeper connection to a brand. The art/fashion cultural exchange connects tastemakers with history as well as with the moment in time.
3) Infusing art means to communicate with visionaries who lead rather than follow. Who are cutting edge, avant-garde, or naturally cool. It builds a connection to something more meaningful than the latest trend. Whatever brought Elsa Schiaparelli and Dalí together was more than just a flirt after all. Art and fashion have started a wondrous relationship. The art we wear every day reflects who we are and who we dream to be.
Post/003. Until next time, happy shiny pretty things!