When fashion designers draw inspiration from artists

Art and fashion have always been linked. In fashion, the conception of any piece of clothing comprehends a phase of artistic creation as much for haute couture as ready-to-wear. The history of fashion, in the same way as that of art, has had its fair share of revolutions and many of big artists’ visionary ideas have crossed over into the creations of their fashion designing counterparts. Fashion inspired itself from art and art converses with fashion… That is why it is not surprising that their shared history is filled with numerous collaborations that spawned real works of art.  


Dali’s wife, Gala, poses with the Shoe hat designed by “Schiap”.

Inspiring herself from a photograph of Salvador Dali with a high-heeled shoe on his head, the eccentric Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli created a totally surrealist accessory in 1937 : a shoe hat. Contrary to her rival Coco Chanel, Schiaparelli considered fashion as an art form (and not a craft). Having found the shoe that fits in the kooky Dali, Schiaparelli collaborated with him on several occasions and notably for a lobster dress imagined by the Spanish painter.



The Mondrian dress was a great commercial success.

One of the most famous creations of the fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian dress was presented for the first time in 1922. In a collection of 10 dresses, Yves Saint Laurent presented his take and different variations of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian’s abstract art painting with one common cut, straight and short. The dress was featured on the cover of several big fashion magazines and was replicated in all the big department stores, giving it an almost iconic status !



Cecil Beaton’s series of photos presenting the work of the American painter was published in Vogue.

In 1951, the American magazine Vogue published the photos of American photographer Cecil Beaton where the models were portrayed in front of none other than Jackson Pollock‘s artworks. The series, titled “The New Soft Look”, puts into scene an art movement that intrigued the entire world at the time, abstract expressionism. Following this, many fashion designers inspired themselves from the patterns full of freedom and truth of the famed Pollock.


Located along the US Route 90, the “Prada Marfa” installation has become a controversial attraction.

The scene feels a little absurd : a Prada store in the middle of the Texan desert where no commercial transaction has ever taken and will ever take place. This artistic installation, penned by Danish duo Elmgreen + Dragset, is located 45 km from the small town of Marfa, which explains its name, “Prada Marfa”. This minimalist “boutique-sculpture” has a door that does not open and contains in its windows twenty high-heeled shoes, all left foot, and six handbags. Doomed to ruin, it would serve as a reflection of our time in the future.


Today, fashion designers continue to turn to artists when looking for new and artistic images and patterns. In 2013, to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of fashion house Alexander McQueen, the British artist Damien Hirst drew a series of patterns that were used for a collection of scarves. Daniel Buren collaborated with Louis Vuitton recently. On the other side, artists also use symbols and logos of fashion, like the double “C” of Chanel. With no breakup in sight, the relationship between art and fashion has promises of beautiful future encounters !