Versace x Andy Warhol pieces

Versace collection inspired by Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe prints | Source: Twitter

The Collision of Fashion and Art: 7 Iconic Designer-Artist Collaborations

An intrinsically linked pair, the relationship between fashion and art has been tumultuous at times. While the connection between fashion and art has historically been fraught with contention, the two always remain intertwined; symbiotic.

The difference between fashion and art is that fashion is art in movement.

Carolina Herrera

From Salvador Dalí and Elsa Schapiarelli to Gianni Versace and Andy Warhol, fashion and art’s greatest minds have crossed paths and informed one another throughout history. Contemporary artists and designers continue to draw inspiration from each other today- most recently, Stella McCartney worked with Disney as part of its Spring 2022 Collection. Released yesterday, the collaboration was based on the 1940 film Fantasia, and is a blend of the film’s vibrant colours and McCartney’s renowned style.

The fusion of fashion and art’s respective industries is constant and enduring, producing thought-provoking and influential pieces for the runway and art gallery.

Diane von Furstenberg and Gilles Larrain

Head-turning colours and clashing patterns are the hallmark of Diane von Furstenburg’s Fall 2017 collection. Former chief creative officer, Jonathan Saunders, based this collection on the 1973 photo book Idols by Gilles Larrain. The landmark photo book was considered controversial at the time for exploring the “glamour of the transvestite world.”

Diane von Furstenburg’s fall 2017 collection | Source: Artnet

Models photographed in the book were playful and eclectic. An introduction reads: “The Halloween glamour of the transvestite world is captured in these 55 superb photographs by Gilles Larrain. And, beneath the glitter and the pose, you will see the questing and vulnerable souls of people you might never meet outside these pages.”

Flowing into the textiles of Diane von Furstenburg’s collection, you can see where Saunder has drawn direct inspiration from the vibrance and stimulating work of Larrain. His “mix-and-match” approach is evident in the different pairing of items; a faux-fur jacket contrasts against a patterned dress, while accessories take on bold shades and proportions. Both Saunder’s and Larrain’s work have an air of assurance woven into their eclectic work.

Gianni Versace and Andy Warhol

Emerging during the 1950s, the Pop Art era was a revolt against traditional art that materialised in the form of mass-produced everyday objects and images, like Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans. Comics, iconography and illustrations centred around products and celebrities featured throughout the era.

Andy Warhol led the way as one of the most influential artists of the Pop Art era. His famous paintings of Marilyn Monroe, which became known as The Marilyn Diptych, are now set to become the most expensive 20th-century artworks of all time.

A longtime friend of Warhol’s, Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace commemorated his 1991 Spring/Summer collection to the legendary artist. The silk-screen depictions of Monroe were integrated onto skirts and tight dresses.

Mémoire de La Mode by Versace | Source: Pinterest

Christian Dior and Claude Monet’s Impressionist Paintings

French painter and pioneer of the Impressionist art movement, Claude Monet, was known for his ability to beautifully capture a natural landscape on canvas. The vibrant tones and pastel colours were trademarks of Monet’s work.

Irises in Monet’s garden on oil | Source: Dior Essence

Synonymous with French couture, designer Christian Dior’s influence on fashion cannot be understated. First launched in 1925, the fashion house drew styles from the Edwardian era by refining and redefining trends in skirt silhouettes and waistlines typical of that period. The iconic Miss Dior gown was an amalgamation of art and fashion, with strong influences from Monet’s landscape style.

Entirely embodied in pastel coloured petals, the colour palette of the Miss Dior gown reflected that of Monet’s countryside paintings. In 2013, the Maison honoured its historical connection with French Impressionism in an exhibition of over 70 dresses inspired by the likes of Monet and Renoir.

The iconic Miss Dior gown | Source: MedPharmRes

Stella McCartney and Disney

Officially released on April 6, the Spring 2022 collection, “Mushrooms Are The Future”, is a collaboration between Stella McCartney and Disney.

The collection is a celebration of the 1940 film “Fantasia” and its aesthetic. Considered controversial, even Avant-garde, for its time, the film garnered significant critical acclaim and was largely considered a masterpiece. Its production team combined never-seen-before visual effects and classical music composed by the likes of Tchaikovsky and Beethoven.

Using recycled and reused materials, McCartney recreated the psychedelic and vibrant colours of Fantasia.

The unisex collection features trousers, jackets, knitwear and accessories including sneakers, caps, sandals and bucket hats.

Stella McCartney and George Stubbs

No stranger to the mingling of art and fashion, McCartney has previously drawn inspiration for her collections from those including eighteenth-century artist George Stubbs. Drawing from the painting, A Horse Frightened by a Lion, McCartney took this direct print and released it onto garments.

The theme of A Horse Frightened by a Lion, is included in eighteen various works of Stubbs’ art, spanning over thirty years. With bold colours and a darker colour palette, this painting is a dramatic depiction of history art.

A Horse Frightened By A Lion
“A Horse Frightened By A Lion” by eighteenth century artist, George Stubbs | Source: Pixels
Stella McCartney pieces
Garments released by McCartney, depicting Stubbs’ painting, “A Horse Frightened By a Lion” | Source: Twitter

Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalí

A meeting of two of history’s most iconic minds, Elsa Schiaparelli’s collaborations with artist Salvador Dalí set a precedent for some of the fashion-art collaborations we see today.

Schiaparelli designs began as knitwear and were Avante-garde pieces that celebrated surrealism. Salvador Dalí was a Spanish artist known for his surreal and bizarre collections. The two forged a friendship and artistic collaboration throughout the 1930s, a partnership that inspired Schiaparelli and released her “from the boring reality of making a dress to sell”.

The quirky, “Organza Dinner Dress with Painted Lobster”, was worn by Wallis Simpson for Vogue in 1937.

Organza Dinner Dress with Painted Lobster | Source: Architectural Digest

Rei Kawakubo and Merce Cunningham

Rei Kawakubo’s “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body” Summer/Spring 1997 collection was an incredible fusion of contemporary dance and innovative style. Known for unconventional designs that are consistently blurring the lines of fashion and art, Kawakubo is considered one of the most influential designers today.

The costumes were designed for legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham and intended to intensify the reaction of clothing and the body during live performance.

“Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body” by Rei Kawakubo | Source: Louquet London

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