‘It comes together in impressionism or surrealism, when painters they depicted fashion and all its details and designers at the time tried to replicate those paintings into dresses.’ – is what I stated on my first and previous blog, and this time, we are going to comment some of the most iconic collaborations of fashion and art.
The connection between fashion and art define specific moments in history. These spheres have been reflecting the economic, social and political changes throughout all human history. Fashion designers as Dolce&Gabanna, Raf Simons, Gucci or Versace have felt the inspiration and found their muse on famous paintings from previous centuries and decided to re-master them, bringing them to live in the shape of clothes.
1. Yves Saint Laurent and Pop Art: Mondrian’s dresses (1960).
Laurent is a clear example of an artist that is at the same time a master and a fan, that is the key that has lead him to the top, he never stopped learning and taking risks. He has taken inspiration and created whole collections from painters such as Van Gogh, Matisse or Picasso. He took 2D paintings and transformed them into 3D dresses, dedicated to his muse artists.
In Autumn-Winter 1965 collection, Laurent presented 106 designs, and 26 of them were inspired by the book his mother gave him for Christmas Piet Mondrian Sa vie, son œuvre by Michel Seuphor. For him, fashion had to stop being stiff and move, involve colours and not only alligned lines. He designed collarless, sleeveless dresses (they showed more skin than usual) with solid colours (white, yellow, red, blue) combined with thick black lines. Not just that it was appealing for the sight but comfortable to wear, due to their boxy silhouettes.
Critics say Laurent took Mondrian’s paintings from the 20’s and made them wearable in the 60’s. As soon as it was presented, the collection was incredibly successful.
“Mondrian is purity, and you can’t go any further in painting. The masterpiece of the 20th century is a Mondrian.”Yves Saint Laurent
💡 Tip: If you are interested into the whole story of Yves Saint Laurent, his museum in Paris and Marrakech are astonishing but due to the pandemic situation we need to face, they created a dynamic and well-related online museum and trip throughout his life, you already have plans for the weekend!
2. Elsa Schiaparelli and Surrealism: Salvador Dalí’s collection (1937).
Known as the masters of the surrealistic fashion, Elsa and Dalí were very good friends that inspired one another in their own fields. They turned the fashion shows of Paris, into an amusing and light-hearted place with their incredible garments. Elsa tried to break the rules of their time, to explore further away than the standards and that society imposed for women to wear. She mostly used vibrant colours, not easy to explain shapes and hand made ornaments.
Their highlighted masterpiece is ‘The Lobster dress‘, which can seem unusual but meaningless, well… is totally the opposite. Dalí and Elsa created a lot of controversy when it first debuted in Vogue. 🦞
For the painter, lobsters where quite interesting and unique animals, since their shell acts as a skeleton on the outside but has a soft inside, the reverse anatomy of humans. It also had sexual tones, which where reflected on the sheerness of the dress, a feature that was completely new in fashion. The piece of cloth was white on purpose, to contrast with the red of the lobster, placed on the skirt to cover the pelvic area.
Other parts of this collection
It included the breath-taking Skeleton dress, which was pioneer in using a technique called trapunto (it is a very tight dress that creates the illusion that bones are sticking out the body) and the Shoe hat, which idea came from a photograph taken in 1933 by Dali’s wife Gala, showing the painter wearing a woman’s shoe on his head and another one on his shoulder. Elsa thought that was funny and would be a challenge to depict it into a fashion sense, so she did it! (You rock girl 😎).
Their designs did a clear impact on the society of the moment, they received all different types of criticism, but they both stated for an American magazine ‘We feel free now.’
In 2018, the Museum Dalí of Florida launched the exhibition Imagination and Daring: Dalí and Schiaparelli in which they displayed different clothes, accessories, jewerly, paintings and pictures to depict their upstanding and ineffable friendship. Would you have gone to the exhibition now that you know a little bit more about this two atypical personas? For me is a clear yes!
3. Moschino and Cubism: Picasso’s collection (2020).
Last but not least, on September 2019, the Milan Vogue Fashion show had a strong Spanish flavour, since Moschino’s collection was in honour of the painter and artist Pablo Picasso.
Their creative director, Jeremy Scott, dived and researched into the work of Picasso to create an overflowing collection of art and color: Picasso’s cubist paintings whose themes were musical instruments, the circus and national traditions. There was Bella Hadid wearing a harlequin outfit from Picasso’s Rose Period, Kaia Gerber showing off an actual abstract guitar from when he tried to get into the sculpture sphere and Cara Taylor costumed into a framed charcoal drawing.
They recreated and merged the signature of Picasso and Moschino’s logo (you can check it out on my Instagram highlights! 👀) , and Rosalía performed for their show, leaving everyone speechless. That catwalk was the perfect and sincronized mix of different kinds of art, singing, music, paintings and fashion.
There are many other really important and stunning collections that I didn’t mention… in this blogpost! Soon I will dedicate a whole page talking about Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty collection, it deserves its own personal space.
Until that time comes, go and search on the internet for inspiration on different art movements you enjoy, try to incorporate them in an outfit and adjust them to you style, however you feel more comfortable, but remember, always going out of the comfort zone!
“Everyday is a fashion show and the world is your runway.”Coco Chanel
Which are your favourite collaborations/inspirations of art in fashion? I am open to hear your opinions in the comments and discover more styles I didn’t know about. ✨
Stay up to date and subscribe to the newsletter to read my next article about ‘Fast and Brief Historical Recap of Fashion‘ !