Thursday, June 19, 2008

Imitates Life, Part Deux

One of the most well-recieved posts I've had on this blog (so far) is my comparison of art and fashion collections. Art is one of my great passions in life, and I hardly need any excuse to talk about it. (as my father, bearing a long lecture about the nature of Hellenistic sculpture at The Met, can tell you). Therefore, I thought it was time for an encore! Hopefully I don't get too carried away. When I tell you that I see art's influence as "pervasive" in fashion, I mean I can probably find a painting that corresponds to every collection---ever.

I think this obsession with "degrade" and "dip dye" prints that is currently all the rage can be traced directly back to Abstract Expressionism, and more specifically, to Mark Rothko.


While the colours themselves do not have the effect of bleeding into one another, it is the perfect way in which they intersect that I feel so strongly influences designers. Vera Wang, A/W 2006

Jackson Pollock is an artist whose later works I have never been able to wrap my head around. Even now that I have seen his "splatter" paintings up close and personal, I fail to see the intention, if there be any, behind them. Regardless, he is a greatly influential artist, and you don't have to be a museum fiend to see how he inspired Dolce and Gabbana's spring collection.
Number One, 1948
Gustav Klimt's (very gilded) influence, has lately been running through a great deal of collections, and I for one could not be happier. I have always felt him underrecognized, and there is something about the way he "cocoons" his subjects in gold-leaf and geometric shapes that I find very moving. "The Virgin"- 1913
Christian Dior S/S Couture 2008

One artist who had the most direct and immediate influence on the world of fashion in his time was Jean-Antoine Watteau. His paintings were so influential to the culture of the French bourgoeis that a particular style of gown, that which is cinched in the front and has long, loose pleats of fabric in the back, was named after him. Robe a la Francaise
L'Eseigne de Gersaint- 1721

You can still see his sack-back dresses popping up today, designers putting little "suprise" details in the backs of their dresses is "the last cry".

Lanvin, Pre-Fall 2008

And finally, Though not an artist himself, we have the artistic and operatic subjects of the Pierrot (sad clown) and the Arlecchino (harlequin) of Commedia dell'Arte, to thank for Miu Miu's fantastic puffed up mini silhouettes, jewel tones and skewed, whimsical ruffles, prints and collar-cuff combos.


Who knew clowns could be so sexy?

8 comments:

yiqin; said...

The dior 1 really blew me away! I guess I really like big puffy clothes!

Tavi said...

This was one of the most interesting posts I've seen in a while! My favorite looks were the sexy clowns and Mark Rothko. Very inspiring, please do more!

Tavi said...

P.S. Linking you!

emma said...

wow i've never thought of comparing art and fashion like this, very interesting!

Ragamala said...

I love art as well. I'm really considering taking AP Art History because I would love to learn about all the different eras and styles!

Jenny H. said...

this is an amazing post.
i havent seen anything like this in a longg time.

great blog!
wanna trade links?

Wendy said...

Miu Miu's collection was so circus craze, I loved loved it! Great post!

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