Fashion and Art Mix Like Never Before

We are in an era where fashion is mixing with art like never before. From clothes design to catwalk shows to even exhibition installations in museums, major labels to boutique homes, the term of fashion is falling over itself to incorporate significant names from a diverse assortment of the visual arts into fashion. It is hardly surprising, after all what’s fashion if not wearable art, and those collaborations involving the arts are certainly mutually beneficial. Fashion, often unfairly judged as one of the more frivolous applied arts, receives serious prestige by association, while the artists reach a broader, more populist audience.

 

Believe it or not, art and fashion have frequently crossed paths over history, so in this article we will be digging up the history of the long-standing relationship and time travel through history to see the result of art and fashion colliding through a century of boundary-pushing innovation, provocation and revolution.

 

If the collaboration between art and fashion is now at a peak, it is by no means a new phenomenon. Elsa Schiaparelli was among the most imaginative and notable fashion characters working between WWI and WWII, her nature was suited perfectly to the genius of Salvador Dalí who inspired some of her best-known works, it might only have been the collaboration of these minds that would create pieces like the 1937 Lobster dress.

 

The simple white silk dress featured a giant lobster painted by Salvador Dalí and has been a lively homage to his 1934 piece, the New York Dream-Man Finds Lobster in Place of Phone. Equally celebrated in Elsa Schiaparelli’s impressive catalogue is the wonderfully surreal Shoe Hat, made by Schiaparelli and designed by Dalí. The hat, which was fashioned into woman’s high heels, featured in Schiaparelli’s Fall-Winter 1937-38 collection.

 

Another early example of this fashion-art crossover originated from the bold geometry of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, whose “neo-plasticism” style was informed by cubism. From the 1930s, Hermès designer Lola Prusac appeared in Mondrian’s famous works — comprising white wallpapers, grids of thick black lines and blocks of main colours — for inspiration, making a selection of bags and luggage with square inlays of crimson, blue and yellow leather.

 

Mondrian’s work continued to exert a strong influence on fashion after his death in 1944. Famous French designer Yves Saint Laurent loved one of his most significant victories when, in 1965, he unveiled his Fall Mondrian Collection. Though other designers had previously experimented with a similar layout, it was Yves Saint Lauren’s six a-line cocktail dresses which captured the public’s imagination and broke new ground for the future role of art in Vogue.

 

It’s not just painters who’ve sparked inspiration for top fashion designers. Architects and their designs also have been cited as creative muses. Coco Chanel summed up the significance of this connection when she said: “Fashion is architecture. It’s a matter of proportion.”

 

Designing some of the most iconic architecturally-inspired clothing was couturier Paco Rabanne. His first runway show in 1966 was titled 12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials and featured pieces made from sheet metal and rubber. Regardless of the unconventional materials, Rabanne skilfully tailored his dresses to his models’ exact proportions.

 

Perhaps this is because Rabanne always had his mother’s guidance in the back of his mind: “In fashion you have every liberty except one, don’t ever undermine a woman’s beauty.” Rabanne was certainly true to those words, regardless of what materials he was using.

 

The amalgamation of art and style is so powerful that Alexander McQueen’s team chose to announce an exclusive alliance with Damien Hirst in 2013. The work reflects a meeting of two of the darkest minds in modern design. Ethereal and haunting, McQueen takes inspiration from Hirst’s Entomology collection.

 

Butterflies, Spiders and other insects creep across McQueen’s collection of 30 chiffon scarfs, forming geometric patterns throughout the fabric. This cooperation was celebrated equally throughout both the art and fashion world, suggesting an interdependence which will long continue.

 

Looking at big name designers nowadays, it is clear they’re continuing to follow suit by moulding all manner of design and art in their collections. Fashion’s favourite sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, who’ve worked with high-street giants like Gap and Target, are among those who have turned to the artistic canon for inspiration.

 

The Mulleavy’s were celebrated for integrating Vincent Van Gogh’s work in Rodarte’s 2012 collection, from subtle references to the impressionist painter’s thick brush strokes inside their light fabrics and colour palette, to their daring tribute to Van Gogh’s piece, Sunflowers, which is known to be wall hanging art,  incorporated into their iconic blossom print chiffon dress.

 

But leave it to Marc Jacobs to take artistic inspiration to another level. Unsurprisingly the conceptual artist Daniel Buren clarified their 2013 Louis Vuitton collaboration as a “totally crazy adventure”. Not content with integrating Buren’s check canvas layouts into his garments, Jacobs drafted the artist to design the staging for his catwalk show.

 

Buren had complete artistic freedom when designing his eponymous set, complete with moving escalators. The breathtaking spectacle was set up in the central courtyard of the Louvre, making it an unforgettable alliance of art and style.

 

We’ve seen how easily fashion has adopted the notions of art, from the historic absorption of influences into the present day where style collections are conceived and promoted using, and in part producing, the new-found celebrity status of budding artists. But if the connection is a two-way road, what is the art world’s involvement with fashion?

 

Japanese Modern artist Takashi Murakami can rightly be regarded as a pioneer of multi-disciplinary crossovers, working in both the fine art areas of sculpture and painting while at the same time enjoying success in the fields of animation and product. His holistic, commercially-savvy approach makes fashion a natural arena for Murakami to express himself, and the artist recognised early in his career how improved vulnerability from mainstream collaborations could develop his work.

 

It was that guy Marc Jacobs again who got the ball rolling for Murakami, inviting him to work on a now-famous array of handbags for Louis Vuitton which re-invented the business’s signature LV emblem. Following the massive success of this endeavour, Murakami has struck up a long-term creative venture with the company, while he also enjoyed additional commercial success with the likes of shoemaker Vans.

 

On the subject of footwear, no discussion of this art-fashion symbiosis can pass without considering Tom Sachs and his work with sports mega-brand Nike with their collaboration on men’s and women’s sneakers. The American sculptor has something of a love-hate connection with style and commercialism in general, having produced several high-profile pieces critiquing the basic ideas of luxury brands like Chanel.

 

However, the more accessible area of sportswear gave Sachs a platform to explore topics of mass-production, economy of scale and environmental effects. The artist’s NIKEcraft collaboration centred on an imaginary, lo-fi mission to Mars, and pushed the boundaries of materiality by repurposing car airbags, ships’ sails as well as real spacesuits to build his futuristic designs of men’s boots.

 

Contemporary artist Vanessa Beecroft has integrated fashion into her multi-disciplinary work, together with the Italian’s performance pieces which makes extensive use of models in haute couture loaned from big name labels. This fascination with the performance part of fashion has led to notable collaborations, particularly centred on live shows and the theatricality of the catwalk.

 

When Kanye West started his Adidas collection earlier this year, it was Beecroft’s influence that made the series stand out; referencing her 2005 performance work VB55, the models did not parade up and down a catwalk whatsoever, instead occupying a space in un-moving, hypnotised ranks since they wore a selection of utilitarian, quasi-military urban casual women’s shoes.

 

Finally, we wind back the clock to the ever-innovative master of multi-disciplinary artwork, Andy Warhol. The Pop Art genius had a longstanding fascination with style dating back long before the days of fame and The Factory. Warhol had started out in fashion illustration, working for glossy magazines designing for commercials for goods like Schiaparelli’s gloves.

 

His breakout artwork, the infamous Campbell’s soup cans, quickly crossed over from wall art to wearables, with New York society girls among the first to wear dresses printed with can layouts in response to his series (Campbell’s themselves afterwards produced a paper edition of the apparel for the princely sum of $1 plus 2 cans of soup). Once a worker of journalism companies like Harper’s Bazaar, Warhol became a journalist himself, he started his own magazine, Interview, where style characters — designers, models, and fashionistas alike — played a starring role, and there wasn’t a demarcation between his personal and professional relationship with fashion.

Posthumously, Warhol’s position in the style Hall of Fame was cemented by Gianni Versace’s 1991 Pop Art collection, which comprised a jewel-encrusted variant of the artist’s lurid Marilyn Monroe prints.

 

It may be true that for each meaningful collaboration between art and fashion, you will find ten creatively empty exercises in advertising. Placing cynicism aside, however, and there is no denying the symbiotic relationship which has always existed between the two — a connection which only appears to be growing more powerful as more of the modern art world’s best talents step over in the glamorous world of fashion.


Stunning Industrial Creative Spaces

Large, industrial area art spaces are becoming increasingly popular. No longer just for Hipsters here are some of the best spaces from around the world!

industrial,creative space,laminated,slab cranes

Basilica Hudson, New york city

Everything storage facility conversion dreams are made from, and the type of area that requires you to utilize the word “area” far to frequently when explaining it (get ready for more of that on this list …), the Basilica Hudson is a repurposed foundry 2 hours inland from the Big Apple on the Hudson River surrounded by low loaders, cargo ships and docks on the banks. Established as a non-profit multidisciplinary art area in 2010, the Bascilica now serves as a place for “non-traditional art experiences”. The open, hangar-like structure hosts routine weekend occasions to draw individuals from the city. These consist of the “Farm and Flea” markets, routine screenings of movies from sci-fi to John Waters and shows that have actually up until now consisted of artists such as Grimes, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Angel Olsen. A key event of the year’s programs is the yearly Basilica Soundscape celebration: a weekend of multimedia arts and music that changes the blank area of the Basilica into an incubator of speculative noises.

 

The Spinnerei, Leipzig

As in any city or area whose art scene has actually progressed, the east German city of Leipzig has actually discovered its previous commercial structures offered brand-new life by its imaginative locals. The very best known of these is the Spinnerei, a substantial complex of red-brick factories that was main Europe’s biggest cotton spinning mill. Production decreased in 1992 and ever since numerous areas have been gradually inhabited by artists, designers, musicians and other creatives. In the last years the Spinnerei has gained larger prominence with the opening of exhibit areas from worldwide galleries. Of these, Hall 12 is a big, light area utilized for visitor exhibits. Larger still is Hall 14; a huge 20,000 sq metre previous production hall that has exhibits, displays and an art library. While specific galleries run their own programs, you can likewise go on directed trips of the website to obtain a feel for the history and advancement of the location. Somewhere else in Leipzig is the Kunstkraftwerk, a previous power plant that’s been changed into another art area, marking the most recent significant cultural project for the city.

 

Mikser Home, Belgrade

Inhabiting a light, wonderfully refurbished storage facility, Mikser Home (developed by designers Maja Lalic, Aleksandar Spasojevic and Ivana Ibraimov at Remiks studio) has ended up being Belgrade’s most popular arts centre, opening in the run-down Savamala area in 2013. It signs up with another location in the post-industrial location: KC Graduate, which has a bar, exhibit area, hosts club nights and has been a crucial driver for the city’s independent arts scene. While the environment at KC Graduate is more subtle– lampshades made from laminated recycled plastic and a casual, more youthful environment– Mikser is sharper and slicker, with wooden laminated tables showing work by Serbian designers for sale, a coffee shop (with outstanding coffee, obviously) and areas to use your laptop computer and work. At nights the area is changed for theatre, productions and celebrations.

 

Russell Industrial Centre, Detroit

The year Detroit stated itself insolvent, 2013, was the same year the Russell Industrial Complex, a century-old factory area synonymous with the idea of slab cranes, pressing machines and blue collar labour, started changing into the innovative town that it is today. Now it is among the biggest creative neighborhoods in the midwest, supporting everybody from furniture-makers to designers. The respected seven-building complex catches the essence of Detroit as it starts to take a brand-new identity– beyond that of cars and truck manufacture. And the areas are extraordinary: large passages lined with standard factory windows, big storage facility areas and an old-fashioned water tower that gazes over the network of structures. Though it is primarily utilized as a work area for artists, there are regular events– from block celebrations to open studios– for those who wish to explore, with the greatest being the yearly People’s Arts celebration.

 

The Swimming pool, Tokyo

Considering this concept shop is the work of Tokyo’s king of cool Hiroshi Fujiwara– considered the “godfather” of Harajuku street style– it’s not a surprise what an extremely stylish joint this area has actually ended up being. The store changes an unused pool in a run-down 1970s home block into a tidy, light, almost-futuristic environment that still protects previous functions. The sunken swimming pool location is the centerpiece and the shop area makes up the pool surrounds for the area, with glass floor covering fitted throughout the base and clean glue laminated wood finishes. On the other hand, the stripped-down walls have been left bare, apart from areas still lined with blue and white tiles. Designer Nobuo Araki– who has dealt with creating galleries in the past– teamed up with Fujiwara to produce the store, which promotes an environment that recognisable yet discreetly modified, a fitting area for the perfectly developed clothes and items on display within it.

 

Ler Devagar, Lisbon

If you have actually ever wished to see an enormous wall of books, Ler Devagar (Portuguese for “read slowly”) is a great location to satisfy your need. Ler Devagar inhabits an old material factory; books are stacked practically to the top of the high ceiling, while commercial metal sidewalks and stairs take you around the store. Just like Librairie Avant Garde, it’s rather various in tone to the moldy, dark, Black Books-esque book shops that comprise most literary dreams, however in lots of ways the repurposed interior sets off the creativity in precisely the method a bookshop must do. Dotted with sculptures– the most popular being a flying bike hanging from the ceiling– the store likewise has two bars separated by retaining walls, making it a lovely social and innovative environment to immerse yourself in. Ler Devagar becomes part of the LX Factory complex in the Alcântara area, now an “island” of art, style and style areas– consisting of more recent celebration areas such as Town Underground Lisboa


The Basics Of Buying Art

Collecting and buying art can be done by almost anyone. Previous knowledge about the art business is not needed nor is experience in collecting art or an art history degree.

What you will need is a love for, and appreciation of, art; a desire to collect and a desire to learn some of the basic, simple techniques that will help you appraise and evaluate any kind of artwork, whoever the artist is or whatever historical period the artwork.

There is no “right or wrong” method to collecting art, nor is there any right or wrong type of art to buy. Collecting art can be as simple as buying what you like, the art that speaks to you. However if you are concerned about spending your money wisely, with a view to what you buy being an investment there are other factors you would need to consider.

If you find a piece of art you like and want, whether it is a painting, print or sculpture then you need to investigate the artist. There are many ways to do this:

Speak to people at the gallery where the art is being shown, whether this is the gallery owner or fellow collectors or the dealer who is selling the art, in some cases you may even be able to speak with the artist themselves.

Review written material: this can include art reference books, art reviews, the artists resume and gallery exhibit catalogues.

Look at the artists other work, try to see work from all periods of the artists career. Also, you could ask the seller to show you other examples of the artists work.

Try to find out about the history of the artwork. Has it been displayed in any important galleries or art shows? Has the piece won any awards? Has it been bought and sold before and has it increased in value?

Finally, you need to ask yourself if the price is fair at the time of buying? Nobody can put a price on the future value of an artwork with 100% accuracy, but after having done sufficient research you can get a better understanding of the true value of the work today. And have a better idea about what the price will be in the future.