The impact of art on fashion is pretty evident looking at the recent designs. Moving on from the naturalistic focus of gardens and flowers, which has been the reference for patterns, the designers now focus on art. The inspiration is varied as the motifs and designs emerge from different forms of art including ornate and exotic blooms.
Fashion’s relationship with art is closely bound with the beginning of the old fashion system in which the taste and social classes were defined by the way clothes were adorned.
Over the years, digital printing has evolved into the new, big fashion printing technique. Digital printing requires dye-sublimation process by which water-based ink bonds to fabrics through heat transfer. The best types of fabrics to use for digital print are: silk, cotton, polyester, and linen. The graphics in question are transferred onto the fabric using transfer paper. Digital printing has become the greatest innovation of the 21st century, as it does not require elaborate setup as screen printing and has allowed brands to release collections a lot faster due to the high demand of keeping up with trends and the interest of consumer’s wants and needs. It allows designers to easily implement creations and stay on their toes when it comes to designing upcoming clothing collections.
More than colour and design, it is the evocative writings that have become the rage of the town. Manto designs that feature Urdu poetry is an excellent example of keeping art alive, more precisely calligraphy. With famous quotes of Allma Iqbal and Faiz Ahmed Faiz, the Urdu writings on stoles, kurtas and shirts have become popular. The earthen tones of these garments suggest a non-gender segment where the neutral colours and designs are adorned by both men and women.
The Mondrian Look
Inspired by art, Yves Saint-Laurent created the Mondrian look in 1965. It was characterized by geometric lines and colors used in Piet Mondrian’s artworks. The six wool jersey and silk A-line Mondrian dresses comprised graphic black lines and blocks of white and primary colour, directly referencing the work of Mondrian. Rather than being printed, the dresses were made of pre-dyed fabrics, each colour in their design being an individual piece of fabric.
Artuyt is a local Armenian brand of silk scarves that depict the works of Armenian artists. The brand uses not only paintings but also other cultural artefacts to give its customers a piece of their country and culture to wear in a form of a silk scarf. You may not be Armenian but that’s the great thing about art, it doesn’t have borders.
Louis Vuitton and Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons is not only known for its balloon animals but also for his collaboration with Louis Vuitton. The duo launched a very successful collection of handbags depicting the artwork of famous painters such as Paul Gauguin, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, J.M.W. Turner, Nicolas Poussin and others. These handbags carry not only the legendary name of Louis Vuitton but also the talent of some of the greatest artists in the history of mankind. You can still find Louis Vuitton x Jeff Koons bags in second-hand stores.
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on wearable art. Art isn’t a source of inspiration only for luxurious brands. Many small businesses across the world have and continue to turn art into wearable fashion. Here are two of my favorites:
From silk scarves to shoes. Koko art founded in 2010 in London specializes in hand painted shoes. You can get shoes with your favorite painting on it or custom order a pair of sneakers with whatever painting or print you like. Another cool thing about Koko art is that they have a very unique pricing, they call it “Your size is your price,” which means your shoe size equals the amount you pay.
Art in fashion is a tried and tested formula that continues to attract many consumers.