Fashion is as much an art as the canvas or the marble. It’s simply another medium, one that is presented on the body, rather than on the wall. Sometimes it isn’t a commercial friendly design, nor is it profitable to the designer. But at the end of the day, it’s still a piece of art to the designer behind it. The creative processes shared between fashion designers and artists often manifest as friendship, and sometimes even collaboration.

A piece of Dali’s Three Young Surrealist Women… via Google, Schiaparelli’s Tears Dress via Link
Elsa Schiaparelli was an Italian fashion designer and seemingly lesser-known rival to Coco Chanel. However, during her time, she was one of the most prominent people in the fashion industry. She was heavily influenced the Surrealist artistic movement and collaborated closely with Salvador Dali, the man behind the painting, The Persistence of Memory (1931). Some of the most famous pieces they produced together are The Tears Dress, and the Skeleton Dress. The Tears Dress features a trompe l’oeil print, a print that plays on dimension and makes it seem as if pieces of fabric are coming off of the dress. The Skeleton Dress has padded bone structures all along the torso. If it looks a bit familiar, Lady Gaga referenced it in her music video for Bad Romance.

Skeleton Dress via Link
This collaboration was in the 1930’s. Moving a few decades forward is a collaboration that I’m sure we’re all familiar with. Yves Saint Laurent took Piet Mondrian’s Composition of Yellow, Blue, and Red and made it into a simple, shift dress in 1965.

Mondrian painting via Link, photo via tumblr
Fast forward to the digital era, and designer-artist collaborations are commonplace. In 2002, Louis Vuitton enlisted the aid of Takashi Murakami, featuring his trademark cherry blossoms on their handbags. In 2012, Louis Vuitton, again, brought in another Japanese artist to collaborate with. Yayoi Kusama adorned the traditional bags with her famed polka-dotted patterns. In the past season, designer Juun J. worked with Italian artist, Paolo Padroni, featuring his work as prints on the back of several jackets. Even now, high-street shop Uniqlo has an ongoing collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They’ve released pieces with works by Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, making them accessible to the everyday person.

Images via tumblr, Paolo Padroni, and Link
It probably seems like I’m throwing out random names, but we’ve really come to a point in time where everything interacts with each other. Fashion is a part of art as much as art is a part of fashion. Mutually influential, the line between both has been erased.


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