Fashion Through Art


First of all we have to admit that fashion gets its inspiration from art. Throughout the decades, fashion designers and artists have shared the same love for colors, shapes and beauty. Just like art, fashion is constantly being reborn, is an extension of ourselves and it seeks inspiration from other arts. Looking at catwalk videos, backstage photos, fashion trends and daily news it's impossible not to ask yourself: "To what extent does art influence fashion?"

Let's take a look at Elie Saab's feminine and delicate lines, pale color palette, water color effects, draping fabrics and soft garments. His work demonstrates a mastery of design and his models softly fuse with their surroundings like walking impressionist paintings. 

Elie Saab captures the effect of light to emphasize the colors, just like impressionist painters did. I simply adore his tiny little details, floaty dresses with magnificent textures, sinuous lines, the way he highlights a woman's body and the way he creates a dream. Each Elie Saab's collection is an odyssey of beauty. His gowns are full of glamour and they attract in a mysterious and magical way. The color palate is amazing and it goes from shimmery apricot to shades of champagne, light blues and purples, neutral accents and pale pink.

Moving forward to Sergio Rossi's collections we can see that he got his inspiration from modern architecture with graphic details and sophisticated shapes. He uses simple forms but creates details that established his reputation as a purely minimalist designer.


Yves Saint Laurent and Piet Mondrian shared the same love for abstract art. The painter's grids inspired YSL to create "Mondrian" day dress in autumn 1965. It is wool jersey dress in white, red, blue, black and yellow color blocks. With this dress YSL made the historical case for the artistic sensibility of his time. But Mondrian's influence doesn't stop here. He created madness in the fashion industry, inspiring designers like Sarah Schofield, Viktor & Rolf, Christian Louboutin and many others.


Painting was a major inspiration for jewelry designer Lisa Paik also. Looks like Mondrian inspired an amazing Art Deco-esque piece of jewelry, while Gustav's Klimt masterpiece was the foundation for an Art Nouveau ring. Isn't fashion puzzlingly amazing? As a designer Lisa Paik went to different fashion phases, like the cubist period with its faceted ring which replicates the cubist qualities that Picasso is famous for, or the Renoir Ring that brings back the feminine sensuality and beauty from the painter's artworks in characteristic Impressionist style. But my favorite is the Starry Night Ring inspired by Van Gogh's magnum opus. The ring doesn't aim to have a perfect shape but to capture the swirly brilliance of the night. There are countless examples of high art being used as an inspiration for collections.

In 2008, Diane von Furstenberg designed a resort-collection inspired by Andy Warhol's pop art. Dior played also with art and he took inspiration from the romantic period, with its ruffled head pieces, glamorous detailing and luxurious hats. Indeed, pure romance comes along and changes the catwalks.

These were just some examples of high art being used as an inspiration for collections but there are countless. Fashion is just another form of art, that changes at an increasingly fast pace. That's why New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has an entire department dedicated to fashion.  


I suppose it depneds what inspired you in the first place. For me, photography was a way to capture what I did not have the talent to draw, or at least draw quickly. So I would take pictures, then try to draw those pictures in multiple modes, suhc as the Van Gogh mode (and if you don't know what I mean, maybe you should go to an art museum for inspiration). Also, I've found that (literally) not having my equipment for a few months while starting to feel that lack of inspiration is giving me tremendous inspiration, as I just got it back this evening, and can't wait to go take pictures tomorrow! So, take a deep breath, put down the camera, pick out your favorite pictures and try to draw them, or go to museums and try to capture the feeling you get from a drawing or painting in your camera, or possibly you just need to ask a friend to hold on to your equipment indefinitely. When you find your hands itching for a camera, it's time for you to go get it back.
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