A BRIEF HISTORY OF ARTISTS TAKING OVER THE FASHION WORLD

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ARTISTS TAKING OVER THE FASHION WORLD

by Alice-Rose Perry
4 min

Where there is fashion there is also art, and vice versa. Both existing as visual mediums of expression and culture, very powerful things happen when the two worlds collide. And whilst their contexts may be different (have you ever tried to carry a canvas on your back?), even the most seasoned of art critics would have a hard time arguing against the social resonance of the art-fashion sphere. 

Tracing back the CULTED picks of gallery-worthy pieces and projects, with fashion moments which defined the artistic world, consider this portfolio our answer to Art History studies.

SCHIAPARELLI X SALVADOR DALÍ
Legendary couturier Elsa Schiaparelli collaborated with one of the founding greats of Surrealism, Salvador Dalí, during the 1930s and 40s. Both shared an affinity for the eccentric, as Schiaparelli (known for her love of ‘shock tactics’) often included unusual materials and everyday objects in her designs, and Dali – well, you know. Melting clocks and leaping tigers aside, the pair famously collaborated on the 1937 ‘Lobster Dress’ which included Dalí’s original artwork. A pioneering design for its time, they would go on to create a series of radical and century-defining garments – such as ‘Shoe Hat’ and ‘Skeleton Dress’.

Philadelphia Museum of Art © / Schiaparelli archives ©

HALSTON X ANDY WARHOL
Halston and Warhol’s creative relationship marked a significant merging of art and fashion throughout the late 1960s, 70s and 80s. Forming a series of creative ‘Easter eggs’, their portfolios were interconnected with one another’s influence. It was a friendship which had a distinctive impact on pop culture, as Halston would collect Warhol’s artwork, and Warhol would portray Halston in several pieces – which would regularly appear in the designer’s marketing campaigns.

Andy Warhol ©

LOUIS VUITTON X TAKASHI MURAKAMI
With it-bag status like no other, the Speedy bag of the Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami ‘Multicolore’ collaboration was seen on the likes of legendary early-noughties pop culture veterans, such as Paris Hilton, Lil’ Kim, Lindsay Lohan, and Jessica Simpson. At the time, the then creative director Marc Jacobs (FYI: we recently summarised how Marc brought LV to the streets, which can be found right over here) requested the contemporary Japanese artist reenvision the signature monogram collection with his dizzyingly bright colour palette. The ‘Monogramouflage’ and ‘Cherry Blossom’ collections also formed fresh cultural relevance for the heritage house, and Louis Vuitton would go on to collaborate with other artists such as Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, and Yayoi Kusama. 

Louis Vuitton ©

PRADA X MICHAEL ELMGREEN & INGAR DRAGSET
Elmgreen & Dragset’s installation, titled ‘Prada Marfa’, rests in the sandy depths of the Texas desert. A sculptural replica of a Prada boutique, window shoppers are treated to a unique display of the label’s SS/05 collection. Technically an empty vessel, the collaboration marked a very distinctive departure from classic partnerships  – with the original plan being that the sculpture would gradually deteriorate into its stark surroundings.

Chronicle Books ©

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN X DAMIEN HIRST
The legacy of the ‘fashion hooligan’ making waves in the art community was always destined to become an iconic collaboration, and Damien Hirst’s collection with the fashion house did not disappoint. Unveiled in 2013 to mark a decade following the iconic skull scarf (first seen in SS/03), the 30 original designs were adaptations of Hirst’s ‘Entomology’ series. A kaleidoscopic vision of butterflies, spiders and other insects (which formed the signature McQueen skull motif), the scarves marked an authentic marriage of both Hirst and the late Lee’s aesthetic visions.

Alexander McQueen x Damien Hirst ©

YEEZY X VANESSA BEECROFT
No stranger to stage presence himself, Kanye enlisted the help of contemporary performance artist Vanessa Beecroft for the staged runway performance of the Season 1, 2, 3 and 4 Yeezy collections. Having previously worked together, with Beecroft named as creative lead on Kanye’s ‘Runaway’ video (accompanied by the epic 34 minute long video for ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’) and Yeezus Tour, their long-running professional relationship was a dimensional take on breaking the fourth wall of fashion.

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