When Fashion Designers Draw Inspiration From Artists

Art and fashion  have always been linked. In both haute couture and ready-to-wear, the design of any garment goes through a process of artistic creation. The history of fashion, like that of art, is marked by revolutions. We find many echoes of visionary speeches by certain artists in the creations of their designer counterparts. Fashion is inspired by art and art converses with fashion. Therefore, it is not surprising that their common history is made up of numerous collaborations, the fruits of which are true works of art.

DALI X SCHIAPARELLI

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

Inspired by a photograph of Salvador Dalí with a heeled shoe on her head, the eccentric Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli created the most surreal accessory in 1937: a hat-shoe. Unlike her rival Coco Chanel, Schiaparelli saw fashion as art, not a profession. Having found the right fit in Dali’s quirky mind, Schiaparelli collaborated with him on several occasions. She was particularly known for a lobster dress imagined by the Spanish artist.

MONDRIAN X YSL

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The Mondrian dress was a great commercial success.

One of Yves Saint Laurent’s most famous creations, the Mondrian dress, was presented for the first time in 1922. In a collection of 10 dresses, the designer enjoyed declining the abstract art painting of Piet Mondrian with a single cut, straight, and short. The dress made the headlines of several major fashion magazines and was copied in all major brands, earning its iconic status!

POLLOCK X BEATON

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

In 1951, the American magazine Vogue published photos of American photographer Cecil Beaton. The models appear in front of the paintings by artist Jackson Pollock. The series entitled “The New Soft Look” stages the artistic movement that intrigued the whole world at the time, abstract expressionism. Subsequently, many designers were inspired by the liberated patterns of the famous Pollock.

ELMGREEN + DRAGSET X PRADA

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

The scene is a bit absurd: a Prada store in the middle of the Texan desert where no merchant trade has ever, and will never take place. This artistic installation is signed by the Danish duo Elmgreen + Dragset. It is located 45 km from the small town of Marfa, hence its name “Prada Marfa”. This minimalist “boutique-sculpture” has a door that does not open. However, it contains twenty left-foot heeled shoes and six handbags. Reflecting our times, this installation questions consumer society.

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Today, fashion designers do not cease to appeal to artists in their search for ever more creative images and patterns. In 2013, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Alexander McQueen, British artist Damien Hirst designed a series of patterns that are the subject of a collection of scarves. Louis Vuitton also called on several artists to reinvent bag models. For the “Arty Capucines”, the fashion house has collaborated with Alex Israel, Jonas Wood, Tschabalala Self, or even Sam Falls. For their part, the artists also use the symbols and logos of fashion, like the double “C” of Chanel. Without ending anytime soon, the relationship between art and fashion promises us great future encounters!