Perfect Pairing: When Art Meets Fashion

That special relationship between the same-but-different worlds of fashion and art manifests itself this season with unique collaborations and art references aplenty.

By Allysha Nila
Tue, 25 Oct 2016

PHOTO BY KEVIN TACHMAN / @KEVINTACHMAN KEVIN TACHMAN - JAY Z ROBERT DENIRO HARVEY KEITEL - AMFAR NY GALA FEBRUARY 10, 2016

PHOTO BY KEVIN TACHMAN / @KEVINTACHMAN

PHOTO BY KEVIN TACHMAN / @KEVINTACHMAN

 

DEFYING GRAFFITI: GUCCI GHOST X GUCCI

It’s time for the world to take a hit of Trevor Andrew, aka GucciGhost. Alessandro Michele taps on the graffiti artist and former snowboarding Olympian to help create his signature medley of quirky vintage- looking garb infused with rich historical references. Andrew bought his first Gucci item (a gold watch) when he was 17 with some championship money that he won. He’s a genuinely devoted Gucci fan, so erase all your suspicions of him mocking the brand. If anything, his Double G tags are a sign of respect for the Italian powerhouse, born out of his high regard for the Wu Tang Clan. The allure of graffiti (besides the thrill of danger it offers) is rooted in individuality, something Michele highly endorses. No wonder he provided Andrew with his own temporary studio in Milan for the project.

With spray paint as his weapon of choice, Andrew embarks on the pursuit of achieving ultimate status power by taking the piss out of the idea of luxury. Sporting a pristine lambskin bag is one thing, but carrying a product that has had its purity totally ravaged by a dripping Double G takes it to a whole different level. Somehow, the intensity that results in wrecking something so treasured makes it all the more covetable, even satisfying, for the wearer. The destruction of luxury is luxury today: it says “I can do whatever the hell I want”. And both Michele and Andrew know it.

PHOTOS BURBERRY/TESTINO/LUKE EDWARD HALL

Luke Edward Hall’s illustrations are placed together with Mario Testino’s photographs PHOTOS BURBERRY/TESTINO/LUKE EDWARD HALL

BRUSHING IT: LUKE EDWARD HALL X BURBERRY

This season, Burberry’s ad campaign looks just like a painting. For that, you can thank Luke Edward Hall, who collaborated with photographer Mario Testino on the project. The young artist is seen sketching out his illustrations in the British brand’s stop-motion video campaign, unfolding a progression of the artwork as it comes to life. Some of the backdrops were also hand-painted by Hall, giving new life to the typically photography-exclusive medium. While fashion focuses on the sense of sight, Burberry never neglects another vital component: touch.

“His beautiful illustrations next to Mario’s powerful photographs capture the artisanal spirit of the collection,” says creative director Christopher Bailey, who titled the collection Patchwork. As Hall delightfully sketches away, we can almost feel the myriad textures which resonate with the collection. Considering Burberry is at the forefront of the digital game, it’s refreshing that the brand uses the traditional medium of fine art to reinstall humanness.

Prada Fall Winter 2016 with Christophe Chemin prints Fructidor by Christophe Chemin for Prada Fall Winter 2016 Thermidor by Christophe Chemin for Prada Fall Winter 2016

BRAINWORK: CHRISTOPHE CHEMIN X PRADA

Prada loves mysteries, and there’s plenty to decipher from this collaboration, so much so that Christophe Chemin should get his own Dewey Decimal System for his seemingly inexhaustible inspiration index. It’s amazing how he can synthesise such an array of symbolism so successfully. e case for art in fashion has lingered for decades, but this particular collection makes viewing prints an experience that can be likened to the restoration process of an old painting – the delight it offers unfolds with one’s detailed observation of it. Prada’s application of Chemin’s prints for her Fall offerings are also interesting in terms of construction: either fully splashed onto a parka or smothered against a white poplin shirt; at times, both.

The Fructidor piece, originally illustrated on paper with coloured pencils, for example, is a complex mystery comprising phallic blue bananas, a fully burnt matchstick, an exposed lipstick, a violet watermelon nestled on an onyx plate, a fan indicating the month of August, a knife. The meaning? Perhaps abandonment and the coming of autumn. Meanwhile, Thermidor (meaning summer heat) emanates a thoroughly serene atmosphere. The figure of a mother, most likely Mary, beams with constellations that also appear on the Cahier bag. Does it say that we’re all made of stars? Why not? (Who knows, even?) That’s the beauty of an enigma.

Art and Fashion

Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 (Whistler’s Mother), 1871, James McNeill Whistler; DKNY Fall/Winter 2016
Portrait of Margaret Stonborough-Wittgenstein, 1905, Gustav Klimt;
Chanel Fall/Winter 2016
Primavera, c. 1482 Sandro Botticelli;
Alexander McQueen, Fall/Winter 2016
Portrait of a Young Woman, c. 1470, Petrus Christus; Balenciaga Fall/ Winter 2016

BEYOND THE HORIZON: ALLUDING TO ART

What’s the difference between art and fashion, if there’s even one? In an age bombarded with collaborations, the lines between the two worlds have been irreversibly blurred. Nevertheless, distinction is important. Fashion ultimately boils down to an accepted, prevalent way of dress. Art is an expression of beauty, whether celebrating standards or challenging them. Without it, fashion ceases to evoke any form of emotion. We can’t possibly believe in what designers do without a strong emotional attachment. Gucci Ghost, Luke Edward Hall and Christophe Chemin have shown us: to intrigue, one must take on the heart.

Let’s face it, hardly anything is new today, but we should all enjoy the beauty that occurs with the intersection of time and place. In a postmodern era fuelled by the idea of recycling, we spot some of art’s most notable works that the designers are reminiscent of this season.

L’Officiel Singapore - October 2016 on Magzter
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