When Art Collides with the World of Fashion

A work of art is a reflection of the society an artist inhabited. Yet so is fashion.

It comes as no surprise great designers have celebrated notable works of art within their creations, as art can inspire ideas and drive an avant-garde look. Fashion itself is a work of art; when combining couture with fine art, one can conjure something magical.

YSL x Mondrian (1965)

Source: Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris

In his 1965 Autumn-Winter collection, Yves Saint Laurent designed a collection paying homage to the works of painter Piet Mondrian. In the 60s, fashion emphasized the future. YSL utilized a 20th-century work of art that symbolizes geometry and perfection to achieve just that.

Wang x Michelangelo

Source: Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

For the 2018 Met Gala, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, world-renowned dress designer Vera Wang styled singer Ariana Grande. The gown contained beautiful prints replicated from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco The Last Judgement, allowing Grande to showcase her Italian heritage. The creation effortlessly seamed the old with the new, perfectly fitting the gala’s theme.

Dior x Sterling Ruby

Source: The New York Times

Designed for the Fall 2012 Haute Couture show, then Dior creative director Raf Simons emulated the style of American artist Sterling Ruby. The designer implemented Ruby’s bright colors and abstract patterns into his garments. The documentary Dior and I shows Simons’ visiting the Centre Pompidou museum for inspiration.

Siriano x Picasso

Source: Vanity Fair

When dressing singer/actor Janelle Monáe for the 2019 Camp Met Gala, Christian Siriano created the look with Monáe’s favorite artist Picasso in mind. Picasso’s influences are found in the distorted face on the skirt. The fragmentation of facial features is a Cubist style, inspired by African tribal masks: seen in Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. 

With art references prevalent in fashion, the two work hand-in-hand. Art does not simply hang on the wall. Art revolutionizes the fashion world.

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When Art Collides with the World of Fashion