Art pieces

Art and fashion can very easily bleed into one another: runway shows can become art installations and presentations (see Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton and Molly Goddard) and art is as much as a commodity as the latest handbag or pair of shoes. Sometimes, designers are much more explicit about the way in which art affects and impacts their aesthetic, splashing famous prints or paintings across their clothing to create dramatic statement looks. Here, we’ve looked at some of the most memorable recent amalgamations of art and fashion, providing new perspectives on the pieces whilst also bringing them to the market in a fun and refreshing way

Rodarte and Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh is Dutch painter who abandoned the conventions of realism for something altogether more expressionist and creative, looking to complex colour combinations, swirling shapes and improvisational scenes to create his famous works. His painting of The Starry Night is iconic and, along with Sunflowers, is one of the most distinctive paintings in existence; there is no confusing his style with anyone else. The Mulleavy sisters at Rodarte were inspired by these paintings in their S/S 2012 shows. Always a go-to for experimental fashion, with van Gogh, they created dresses that were feminine and whimsical, complete with frills, bows and a sweetheart neckline. It is the ultimate fantasy dressing up piece, with the paintings printed onto light chiffons to create looks that are light, airy and fun. We would style the dress with sheer tights and dainty pointed heels.

Doc Martens and Hieronymus Bosch

Doc Martens are the brand behind the classic ‘bovver’ book, with thick sole, high-top cuts and Air-Wair handles. Formerly associated with punky sub-cultures, the boots have seen something of a resurgence in the past few years, thanks to a wider variety of prints as well as the classic block colour. In 2014, Doc Martens produced a collection of boots, brogues and satchels stamped with ‘Hell’ scenes from medieval Flemish artist Hieronymus Bosch’s famous triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. The triptych (painting in three parts) depicts fantastical, allegorical representations of heaven, hell and earth, with grotesque and explicit scenes of torture, sex and love. These statement boots are bold and beautiful, demanding that the rest of your ensemble is kept fuss-free and pared back. We’d suggest styling with a crisp white shirt, black skinny jeans (shop at <a href=""></a>) and a woollen coat. Be prepared for blisters: Doc Martens can take a while to break in properly!

Yves Saint Laurent and Mondrian

One of the world’s most famous dresses is the YSL Mondrian dress from the French fashion house’s 1965 collection. The entire collection was inspired by modernist artists like Mondrian, Malevich and Poliakoff, using examples of predominantly the former’s work on the dresses. The geometric print is undeniably abstract and modern, helping to enhance the A-line shift cut of each dress, which was a new development in the 1960s. The primary colours of blue, red and yellow on a white background with black grids still looks effortlessly elegant and contemporary as it did then. Such a statement dress would require little accessorizing: we’d keep our hair sleek and off our faces, with stud earrings and a light chain necklace or bracelet. To finish, we’d add a splash of popping lipstick to keep our makeup in line with the modern but simple dress design.   

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