For the past week models, designers, bloggers and journalists from across the globe have descended on the capital for London Fashion Week 2013. As the pop–up shops pack down, front row A–listers slink away and after parties end, this is a timely moment to consider the closely–aligned relationship between art and fashion.
At once both commercial industries and disciplines, throughout history they have informed each other and continue to cross–over, overlap and intermingle today. Examples range from the Piet Mondrian paintings that inspired Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian Collection of now iconic cocktail dresses in 1965, to the admiration of Jackson Pollock, British art and watercolour which have marked British–Canadian fashion designer Erdem’s rise to fashion fame.
This London Fashion Week the Pop Art of Roy Lichtenstein has too been immortalised in cloth and nodded to in make–up coinciding with this week’s opening of Lichtenstein: A Retrospective at Tate Modern. One designer said of his collection: ‘they’re like Pop Art, it’s a very American influence, they’re a bit comic book too’, and the show was described by critic Cathy Horyn as ‘a kapow to minimalists’.
Another designer did away with models completely and brought together thousands of dominoes and moving platforms to present their collection in what Lynn Yaeger of Vogue magazine called ‘fashion presentation as kinetic art’. In October 2012 actress Tilda Swinton cut across the worlds of art and fashion in an alternative presentation of fashion and costume history in The Impossible Wardobe. A catwalk performance devised by fashion curator Olivier Saillard at the Palais de Tokyo, Salliard remarked ‘we decided to captivate their [the clothes’s] story through emotions - and Tilda was simply perfect.’
Can we then ask, how have art and artistic practises influenced the way fashion is presented and what will happen in the future? Has art inspired a focus on emotion in the presentation of fashion? Does art have an influence on what appears to be the performativity of fashion? Let us know what you think.