How it all started
The art + fashion duet was formed back in the 1930s. Then the surrealist from the world of fashion Elsa Schiaparelli met with the surrealist from the world of art Salvador Dali. The artist suggested to the designer the idea of a phone bag, a shoe hat and a jacket with handles like a drawer. However, the main joint work of the two maestros was the organza dress with the image of a lobster, which the wife of the former King of Great Britain Edward VIII, Wallis Simpson, wore for the photo shoot for Vogue magazine. Almost 80 years later, the dress was reissued: it appeared in the Schiaparelli collection for the spring-summer 2017 season, along with other modernized hits of the French designer.
In those same years, an employee of the Hermès fashion house, Lola Prusak, became interested in the works of the Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian. His famous colored lattice, which formed the basis of the artistic direction of neoplasticism, adorned the bags and suitcases of the French brand. In 1965, another designer turned to the artist's work - Yves Saint Laurent. He presented six dresses, decorated in large color blocks, which cited Mondrian's paintings and were joined together by invisible seams by hand, according to the principle of mosaics. The dress gained worldwide success after appearing on the cover of French Vogue: critics called the collection innovative, and Saint Laurent himself was brilliant. “If you get tired of wearing them, you can hang them on the wall at any time,” wrote Jane Tamarin, columnist for the New York Herald Tribune. It is believedthat along with the popularity of the Mondrian dresses, the demand for the artist's paintings grew. Yves Saint Laurent, due to the collection, significantly expanded and rejuvenated the audience of the brand of the same name.
Mondrian dress on display at Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal at the Bowes Museum © Ian Forsyth / Getty Images
Later, the connection between fashion and art became even closer: Yves Saint Laurent met Andy Warhol, who painted his portrait. In response, the designer dedicated his fall-winter 1966 collection to pop art. In subsequent years, references to the artist's work were also made by Roy Halston, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Raf Simons and Gianni Versace. The latter, for example, presented a dress with colorful distorted portraits of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, in which Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista alternately appeared. In the 2017 Versace collection, Warhol's works reappeared: already on leggings, overalls, shirts and boots.
Naomi Campbell in a Versace dress inspired by Andy Warhol © Jim Smeal / Getty Images
“Many artists are afraid of fashion. Because they think it will destroy their image. I love those who are not afraid. Sterling is the perfect example,”said Raf Simons, who has worked with the Andy Warhol Foundation and artist Sterling Ruby, in an interview with Vanity Fair. The Simons and Ruby collaboration is a great example of how the fashion and art worlds have contributed to each other's popularity. They have been collaborating for over a decade: Ruby designed the Raf Simons boutique in Tokyo, made prints for Simons' debut collection at Dior, and designed the Calvin Klein space in New York (the Belgian designer headed the brand from 2016 to 2018). In addition, they released a joint clothing collection under the Raf Simons / Sterling Ruby brand, which later led to the artist's creation of his own brand, SR Studio. LA. CA.The show of her debut collection took place not just anywhere, but immediately at Pitti Uomo.
Rise of art + fashion
Almost all fashion houses began to strive for collaborations with artists, realizing their advantages. And this, among other things, is an audience exchange, building up the associative array and consolidating the designer's reputation as a curator. In 2017 Louis Vuitton released a high-profile joint collection with Jeff Koons, which became unprecedented not only because Koons is one of the most expensive artists of our time, but also because reproductions of paintings by Van Gogh, Titian, Rubens were applied to bags, scarves and wallets and Da Vinci. The collaboration was so successful that six months later it was decided to repeat it: then the accessories appeared on the works of Monet, Manet, Turner, Boucher and Gauguin.
Bags from the second collaboration of Louis Vuitton and Jeff Koons © press service
In 2019, the Louis Vuitton Capucines bag was given to the artists. Sam Falls, who makes abstract compositions using leaves, branches and flowers as stencils, decorated the accessory with a floral print, Urs Fischer, the author of a life-size wax sculpture by Daria Zhukova, added fruit pendants to the bag, and Nicholas Chlobo, who creates works of art from a mixture of rubber, wood and leather, embroidered intricate patterns on the model. In turn, Jonas Wood presented the author's technique of digital printing and three-dimensional embroidery, Chabalala Self combined 12 types of leather in one bag, and Alex Israel, with whom Louis Vuitton later came out with a capsule collection of textiles, placed imitation of shark fins inside Capucines. It was possible to buy works only by pre-order and at a price of 550 thousand rubles.In this regard, comparing bags with art objects is not just a figure of speech.
Louis Vuitton Artycapucines handbag collection © press service
Dior collaborates with artists on the same principle: in December 2019, the fourth series of the Dior Lady Art project came out at the fashion house, within which the iconic bag was rethought, including by Joana Vashconseloush, Van Guangyi, Mikalain Thomas, Athi-Patra Ruga, Rakib Show and Jia Li. The brand is trying to attract representatives of different countries, generations and directions to the collaboration: for example, Lady Dior models are made using patchwork, layering and collage techniques, using feathers, shells and beads.
The bag is the most popular, but far from the only result of collaboration between designers and artists. Dior men's creative director Kim Jones, who works every season with the powerful in the art world, shows that the end product can be as highly artistic objects (for example, a shirt with an embroidered portrait of Mona Lisa by Raymond Pettibon, which was spent 1600 hours of manual labor), so and basic items (a T-shirt with the brand's symbols - a bee, interpreted by the artist Kaws).
1 of 5 Graphics by Sean Stussy in the Dior Men Pre-fall collection, Fall-Winter 2020/21 autumn-winter 2019/20 © press service Print inspired by the work of Werner Panton in the Dries Van Noten collection, spring-summer 2019 © press service Print, reminiscent of paintings by Henri Rousseau, in the Valentino collection © press service
Dries van Noten has PVC raincoats and short-sleeved shirts, prints for which were taken from the foundation of the Danish architect Verner Panton, Pierpaolo Piccioli has shirt dresses and pleated skirts with drawings inspired by the works of Henri Russo, and Marc Jacobs has sweaters with the caption "I hate art" by British illustrator Magda Archer. Interestingly, Archer became widely known after her collaboration with Jacobs, or rather, after Harry Styles, a musician, actor and blogger, came to the Ellen DeGeneres show in their joint product - a sweater with a warning "Stay away from toxic people" with 30 million subscribers.
What collaborations to invest in
In the collections of the fall-winter 2020/21 season, the discovery of names that were previously known only to a narrow circle of art connoisseurs continued. Acne Studios creative director Jonny Johansson drew attention to 18-year-old artist Robbie Barratt, who draws naked people using a neural network. The works of the American, reminiscent of paintings by Rubens and Caravaggio, became prints, for example, on men's leather coats. In turn, Natasha Ramsay-Levy from Chloé introduced us simultaneously to two art-workers: totem sculptures by Marion Verboom became part of the show's set design, and drawings by Rita Ackermann complemented plaid jackets, shirt dresses and hobo bags.
1 of 5 Amoaco Boafo's work for the Dior collection spring-summer 2021 © press service Work by Brian Rochefort at the men's collection Berluti, spring-summer 2021 © press service Paul Anglade's work for the men's collection JW Anderson, spring-summer 2021 © press- Service Work by Robbie Barratt at Acne Studios, Fall-Winter 2020/21 © Press Service Work by Rita Ackermann at Chloé, Fall-Winter 2020/21 © Press Service
The trend continued in the collections of the spring-summer 2020/21 season: Kim Jones brought in Ghanaian artist Amoaco Boafo, who paints portraits with his fingers, Berluti creative director Chris van Assch was inspired by the sculpture by Brian Rochefort, who breaks and then glues vessels, and Jonathan Anderson invited Catalan Paul Anglade to make masks for the lookbook and prints for JW Anderson's cardigans. This is not the first time the designer has worked with the artist: in 2019, a painting by Anglada appeared in the store of his brand, depicting two naked men kissing, timed to coincide with the month of LGBT prides.
Joanathan Anderson uses the works of not only young, but already high-profile artists. For example, the spring-summer collection of the Loewe brand, in which he is the art director, explores the life and work of Paul Cadmus, who also spoke openly on the topic of LGBT people. The loose-fitting sweater bears the 1946 work "The Inventor", the prototype of which was either Cadmus's partner George Tucker, or his friend photographer George Platt Lines. The couture embodiment of the painting will only be available in 2021, while the JW Anderson T-shirt with David Voinarovich's graffiti "The Burning House" has already gone on sale. Paying tribute to the artist and AIDS activist, Jonathan Anderson donates the sale of these items to the Visual AIDS Foundation, which supports HIV-positive art workers.
1 of 13 Reggie Noe's work at the Louis Vuitton men's show, spring-summer 2021 © press service Henry Moore's work at the Alexander McQueen men's collection, fall-winter 2020/21 © press service David Voinarovich's work at JW Anderson men's collection, fall -winter 2020/21 © press service The work of Julio Pomar in the Kenzo women's collection, fall-winter 2020/21 © press service The work of Martin Ramirez in the Lemaire collection, spring-summer 2021 © press service The work of Paul Cadmus in the men's collection Loewe. spring-summer 2021 © press service Erte's works in the Lanvin cruise collection, spring-summer 2021 © press service
Shopping list for the next seasons also includes an Alexander McQueen suit with an interpretation of Henry Moore's Three Quarters, a Kenzo dress with Julio Pomar's “Le Luxe” abstraction, a Lemaire skirt with chilling pencil drawings by Martin Ramirez, and Lanvin blouses with illustrations by Erte. The latest collaboration should be especially close to Russian buyers: Erte - aka Roman Tyrtov from St. Petersburg - once worked with Anna Pavlova and Sergei Diaghilev.
How Russian brands work with artists
Talented artists with Russian roots are being noticed not only abroad. Over the past couple of years, domestic designers have popularized the work of dozens of art figures: Viktor Zabuga's tattoos became embroidery on Sintezia boots, skulls and bones from Konstantin Fedorov's paintings formed the basis for the painting on Razgulyaev Blagonravov slippers, and abstract portraits of Maria Skokova - an artist and concurrently Louis Vuitton models - turned into prints on 404 Not Found T-shirts. The Avgvst jewelry brand has already released its third collection with Proteus Temen, the St.Friday Socks hosiery brand has immortalized Valery Chtak's slogans, and the Garage Museum dedicated T-shirts created in collaboration with Olga Chernysheva to emerge from self-isolation.
1 of 5 Sintezia boots created in collaboration with Viktor Zabuga © press service Socks St. Friday Socks, created in collaboration with Valery Chtak © press service Razgulyaev Blagonravova slippers, created in collaboration with Konstantin Fedorov © press service Avgvst earring, created in collaboration with Proteus Temen © press service T-shirt 404 Not Found, created in collaboration with Maria Skokova © press service
Wearing designer drawings on your chest, which can become a subject not only for pride, but also for conversation, seems much more interesting than buying clothes with branding or no prints at all. In addition, according to experts' forecasts, after the end of the coronavirus pandemic, handicraft production and manual labor will be more appreciated, in turn, products that are somehow related to art will significantly increase in price. This means that it is worth investing in it today.