Fashion week: When Fashion Meets Art

This week the Fashion Week is in full swing! This is the opportunity for Artsper to talk again about the connection between the world of contemporary art and that of great fashion designers. Connections that encourage innovation, but can sometimes lead to confusion and debate……

A History of Collaborations


On the left, the pop-up store and the products from the Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama collaboration.

On the right, the portrait of the Japanese artist ( Courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc., Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo and Victoria Miro, London © Yayoi Kusama)

It is a trend that has become popular in the last fifteen years: Contemporary artists are increasingly solicited by the big luxurious brands to make of their products real works of art. Among the most remarkable collaborations, we can mention that of Louis Vuitton and the internationally recognized Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama in 2012. This collaboration even gave part to the creation of a Pop-up store entirely designed by the artist! Another anecdote: even if this trend is kind of recent, Dali and the designer Elsa Schiaparelli worked together several times during the 30s, creating sets of clothes completely surreal such as a hat in the shape of a…..shoe.

Between a Parade and Contemporary Art: A Perform 


  Performance for the presentation of Martin Margiela’s collection for H&M, 2012

A contemporary artistic medium by excellence, a performance has the same essence as a fashion show: they are both ephemeral. This common feature has given the idea to some fashion houses of presenting their collections by breaking with the traditional codes of parades, and instead creating a real artistic show. This was the case of  Maison Margiela which organized a performance to present their collection for H&M. The performance, which took place in an abandoned building in New York, the performance consisted in models of the brand dancing on squares of colored sand….. a game about the shape and movement to reveal the garment.

A Source of Mutual Inspiration


Pablo Picasso, Woman in the Hat, 1961, metal, Center Georges Pompidou, Paris

Fashion Show Viktor & Rolf spring-summer 2016

This is another point in common: for artists and creators, everything can be a source of inspiration. This is true for fashion as well, it is regularly inspired by art, while contemporary artist play more and more with the logos of the big brands. Such is the case of the high fashion collection Spring-Summer 2016 from Viktor & Rolf which was a tribute to Pablo Picasso’s sculptures and a repetition of his codes.

The Giants of Luxury, Promoters of Contemporary Art


Louis Vuitton Foundation

The directors of the famous brands of fashion and luxury are for the most part passionate about contemporary art and inveterate collectors. Bernard Arnault, owner of LVMH, is one of the best clients of the FIAC. Promoters, the fashion brands increasingly show the pieces of their owners to the public through their foundations, the number of which has grown steadily during the last years. Just to name some examples, we can cite Cartier, Prada, Gucci foundations, and more recently the Vuitton Foundation.

A Relationship that Sparks Debate


 Yuima Nakazato, High Fashion Collection Fall-Winter 2016-2017

The relationship between art and fashion always sparks debate. There is one question that recurrently pops up: is High fashion art and is the creator therefore an artist and are the pieces of clothes works of art? The questions are many: The high fashion, fashion shows reflect the creativity, the unique style, the sensibility that an individual puts in the creation of the garment. The sketches of the greatest designers are sold and displayed on the walls of apartments. The museums are offering more and more often retrospectives of the big names of the world of fashion. Karl Lagerfeld thinks that high fashion is not art, while Yves Saint Laurent has a divided opinion. He says high fashion is a profession “which is not completely art, but needs an artist to exist”