Top 10: Artists that have inspired fashion

Top 10: Artists that have inspired fashion

Iconic designs

Text: Buro 24/7

The worlds of art and fashion have overlapped for many decades – as have their star players. From Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol who both designed dresses themselves, to textiles directly inspired by the work of Gustav Klimt, discover the paintings that are now covering coveted fashion items...

T hroughout time artists and their creative minds have contributed to the development of fashion today. Looking back at the past century, there is a specific list of names (and works) from the surrealist, modern and contemporary movements that have been transformed from works of art to wearable art — a nod to artistic reference if there ever was one. Now, Buro 24/7 Middle East presents the top ten artistic fashion crossovers that continue to champion the art-fashion divide...

1. Oscar-Claude Monet 

The father of French impressionist painting, Oscar-Claude Monet, was known for his nature-inspired artwork, namely his iconic "Water Lilies" paintings (pictured above), which he first painted in 1899. Now, the French artist's recognisable works are injected into Jeff Koon's second collaboration with Louis Vuitton. It's a must-have.

Louis Vuitton x Jeff Koons' Monet collection

2. Salvador Dali

The world's best-known surrealism artist also played a significant role in the history of fashion. In addition to magazine illustrations that the artist created in 1930, Dali also brought about a real revolution in haute couture, working with Elsa Schiaparelli — the designer who famously created the lobster hat and striking abstract prints that are still referenced in collections today. Dali then moved on to designing evening dresses, worn by the likes of the Duchess of Windsor.

Salvador Dali, Lobster Telephone, 1936

Shaparelli's Lobster dress

3. Kazimir Malevich

Russian painter and art theoretician Malevich was a pioneer of geometric abstract art and the originator of the avant-garde, Suprematist movement in the 1920s. His work inspired fabric decorated with geometric forms, rhythmically arranged, sometimes with optical and spatial effects. No less important is the cut of the styles that these prints were made into — as seen in the collections at Comme des Garçons, Martin Margiela and Victoria Beckham — almost all being simple, rectangular or trapezoidal in shape.

Kazimir Malevich, Woman with Rake, 1930-1932

4. Piet Mondrian

The famous abstract paintings of Mondrian are always easily recognisable by the characteristic combination of black and white blocks juxtaposed against those in yellow, red and blue — and very quickly the layout caught the attention of designers, starting endless references to the painter. Hermès in particular — during the life of the artist — presented a collection of bags and suitcases with a characteristic pattern. Then there was Yves Saint Laurent who in 1960 showed the Mondrian dress (a trapeze knit dress with a recognisable combination of colours). It has since been referenced by brands including Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Moschino and Nike.

Yves Saint Laurent's Mondrian dress

5. Andy Warhol

A true icon of pop art, Warhol transformed everyday pieces into creative objects. In principle, any consumer product he turned his attention to could be printed on clothes. A dress made from his famous Campbell's soup print marked the beginning of a long connection between the artist and fashion. Yves Saint Laurent too turned to the creativity of Warhol's portraits, and in 2013, Dior released a collection of dresses and accessories of sketches of shoes made by Warhol.

Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans, 1962

The Souper Dress

6. Damien Hirst

As one of the most expensive and influential contemporary artists in the world, Hirst launched the project Entomology, a direct reference to a study of the world of insects. This included a collaboration with Alexander McQueen, in which he created a collection of silk scarves complete  with patterns of a variety of butterflies and beetles. A similar hook up with Prada followed, this time for charity and it involved decorating the labels famous handbags in bugs made from precious stones, crystals and feathers.

Alexander McQueen x Damien Hirst scarf

7. Gustav Klimt

Perhaps the most famous Art Nouveau creative mind ever — it's impossible to ignore how the signature gilt and jewel-tone mosaics that define his artistic aesthetic have influenced designers' collections over the years — Klimt's work was referenced by John Galliano at Alexander McQueen in a sequence of golden discs and he remains one of the most replicated artists of all time.

Alexander McQueen's Gustav Klimt dress

8. Rene Magritte

Rene Magritte — credited with creating the most beautiful and harmonious work of all the surrealist artists — has been referenced with street cred, think Opening Ceremony's Magritte-specific collection. Sweatshirts and dresses were splashed with fragments of 12 famous paintings by the Belgian artist, including his signature landscapes. There have also been similar collections with Manolo Blahnik, Vans and Birkenstock. 

Rene Magritte

9. Roy Lichtenstein

When it comes to creating prints that work across both clothing and furniture, Roy Liechtenstein is the go-to. In 2011, Lisa Perry released a collection of dresses, devoted entirely to the comic style pictures by the famous artist. A year later Karla Spetic and Markus Lupfer followed with a series of cashmere sweaters with sequins and embroidered shirts. There have also been various sneaker collaborations with Nike, Vans and Converse, as well as Charlotte Olympia.

Charlotte Olympia's Roy Lichtenstein shoes

10. Keith Haring

As a former Warhol protegee, Haring's work is so firmly seeped in modern culture, that in 2013 Colette dedicated a pop-up shop in his name, stocked with items influenced by his talent. The collection of T-shirts, accessories and even skateboards sold out. Vivienne Westwood has also created pieces under his direct influence as has Nicholas Kirkwood - who created a collection of shoes - Adidas and even Tommy Hilfiger. 

Keith Haring, Best Buddies, 1990

Now, discover the artists — think Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Henri Matisse, Warhol and many other Abu Dhabi-approved artists - set to exhibit at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, when the museum opens in November.