Fashion’s long-standing relationship with art is well documented, but rarely has it been in such perfect symbiosis as now. With an increasingly inclusive attitude towards art in fashion and vice versa (even in the most commercial of environments), it is becoming more and more common to see heavy hitting blue-chip artists collaborating with luxury apparel and accessory businesses. The zenith was arguably Jeff Koons for Louis Vuitton last year, a veritable Clash of the Titans, which solidified their respective household-name statuses.
Dior Homme’s pre-fall2019 collection that was recently shown in Tokyo, featured a monumental robot sculpture by Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama, a favorite of their new creative director Kim Jones. Sorayama has collaborated with a number of streetwear labels in the past, and his first high fashion collaboration was with Juun J in2016, but this was a whole different scale. The gargantuan fembot was lit up with lasers and acted as the centerpiece for Dior Homme’s futuristic vision of menswear for pre-fall 2019. Over at Valentino, who also showed in Tokyo for the first time, their pre-fall 2019 collection featured both men’s and women’s (another first) in a stark concrete industrial space. The environment was far removed from the romantic polish of the clothes, and the brand’s universe, a technique common in the cannon of the art worlds visual vocabulary, that served to elevate the collection. Alongside the show artisans and artists were invited to decorate Valentino’s Ginza store by creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, including master origamists Kyohei Katsuta and Satoshi Kamiya who used the infamous Valentino red paper to create a menagerie of fantastic beasts.
No current conversation about art and fashion would be complete without mentioning Raf Simons’collaborative relationship with artist Sterling Ruby – one of the most celebrated symbiotic relationships in either industry. Beginning with a textile collaboration in 2012 for Dior under Simons’ directorship, and following with a full collection in 2014 for Simons’ eponymous label which saw him rebranding all of the garment labels for a season and continuing to this present day with Simons’ appointment at the helm of Calvin Klein. He has recently invited Ruby to exhibit his work in and reimagine the interiors of the Calvin Klein flagship stores and headquarters globally.
Last, but certainly not least, JW Anderson is fast becoming the go-to darling for the art-set, with his numerous forays into arts and craft including the introduction of the Loewe Craft prize in 2017 that supports ceramicists and handicraft specialists around the world. For his current limited edition straight-to-market AW18 capsule collection, he collaborated with celebrated London art duo Gilbert and George on a number of desirable separates and accessories featuring their iconic imagery. Destined to adorn many a gallery visitor and fashionista in the coming months, it serves as a perfectly wearable solution to this burgeoning trend.
Andy Warhol’s « Shadows » that features in the slideshow was presented by the Dia Foundation at Calvin Klein’s New York HQ from October 26 to December 15, 2018, in concurrence with the Warhol retrospective (Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again) at the Whitney Museum of American Art.