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Fashion Designers: Inspired by Art

February 23, 2019

Fashion and art have always had a close relationship, and designers often look to paintings for creative inspiration. Let’s explore how fashion designers have done magic on garments from parallel art movements and art history for their collections.

 

Fashion Designers are curious about shape and form , fascinated by color , intrigued by social historical and cultural references and therefore find themselves drawn to art galleries , to museums , to artists studios and archives , and to simply hang out with their contemporaries in the art world , or other design disciplines . From architects and sculptors to contemporary concept installation artists , the creative mind comes in many forms , and often has varied influences .

 

It may be that a designer will tell you his or her entire collection sprung from seeing a single painting or a brand may give an artist carte-blancs to create a capsule range for them .

 

But designers have always worked with artists , long before the commercial pressure to create these lucrative , must - have lines . As these examples show , fashion and the fine arts have , and always will , go hand -in-hand.


1. Versace

 

Gianni Versace’s Spring 1991 collection featured outfits printed with  Andy Warhol‘s brightly coloured, silk-screened portraits of Marilyn Monroe and other famous icons. Along with modern art, Gianni Versace had other sources of inspiration including African tribal and ancient Greek art.

 

The influence of Greek mythology was conveyed in Versace’s use of the medusa head as its logo which embodied female power. A glance at medusa would turn one into stone: she stunned people with her domineering look and snakes in her hair which she ended up with, having survived from the loss of a partner through an affair.

 

Returning to his Italian roots, Versace also looked at religious works by the Renaissance painter Botticelli.  Many of Versace’s collections use delicate fabrics and sinuous cuts, evoking scenes from neo-classical art to romantic art, with models depicted as sirens and mermaids

 

 

2.  Louis Vuitton 

 

 

Louis’s Vuitton’s multi-coloured Takashi Murakami monogram was made famous across bags and accessories. The collaboration between the artist and the French house made public in 2003 was the invention of former Vuitton director Marc Jacobs. It was one of the first marriages of high art and luxury that have now become pivotal in an age of extreme wealth.

 

 

Murakami’s collaboration extended even further: he began featuring the LV monogram in his paintings, and established a Vuitton boutique in his retrospective at Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

 

3. Missoni

 

 

 

 

 

The Missonis’ designs were inspired both by the natural environment and by their own collection of art from Europe’s Modernist era including the work of Tancredi, Matisse, Sonia Delaunay, Giacomo Balla and Gino Severini, whose vibrant images of dancers reflect close parallels with the geometric patterns of Missoni fabrics.

 

The Futurists’ vision that all aspects of life should be elevated from providing a simple, functional role to being a vehicle for the highest artistic aspirations led to their growing interest in clothing during the 1920s and 30s. This resonates with the Missoni aesthetic of striking museum pieces that have a functional use as clothes.

 

4. Elysian Desire - The 'Cupid Crush' Collection inspired by the love affair between Fashion and Art

 

 

 

 

This connection with the growing art world moved Elysian Desire into a new realm. Elysian Desire is not just concerned with beauty or transient fashion trends, but with art, culture, ideas and innovation. Ultimately, Elysian Desire is distinctive in its activities with the wider intellectual world, its eccentric chic style proving inspirational to later designers 

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