Art & Fashion - two worlds that have coexisted and collided for decades. The symbiotic relationship between the two worlds has persistently overlapped. As such, the distinction between them has become blurred and even controversial. Both fields are of ongoing innovation and creative expression, more recently involving current fabrics of society and politics.
Fashion has often been regarded as the Arts’ “frivolous other” - a question of superiority lays at the forefront of the comparison. Beyond such tension, it is obvious that the relationship is symbiotic, especially in our contemporary climate. Whilst art feels free from restrictions and hierarchy, fashion is beholden to the demands of a rigorous, ever-changing ethos - rampant in the cutthroat nature of its industry. Despite the contrast between them, an inextricable linkage persists: art influences fashion and vice versa. Such interconnectedness is by no means a twenty-first century idea. We can glean that creative partnerships between disciplines have been ongoing for decades.
One of history’s earliest examples between the intersection is the iconic Lobster dress of 1937; the result of a collaboration between fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli and artist Salvador Dali. The dress, referencing the lobsters within Dali’s work, represented a fusion of art and fashion and was heavily regarded as a success in both schools. Since 1937, the prevalence of collaborations between artists and fashion designers has expanded, with other notable examples including Takashi Murakami for Louis Vuitton, Juergen Teller for Marc Jacobs, and Damien Hirst for Alexander McQueen.
Collaborations between fashion designers and artists can deliver a brand story, increase prestige and produce visually exciting content. For artists looking to scale globally, omnipotent fashion brands provide a perfect platform for a new name. Likewise, brands seeking to increase credibility or market appeal turn to artists for aid in design. Such collaborations make both fields en vogue and “socially relevant” (Louis Vuitton & Takashi Murakami). Fashion and art have something to offer the other and will continue to have a mutually beneficial relationship that is trend setting.
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