The Coolest Artists And Movements Influencing Fashion Now

Who are the artists and movements influencing the runways Spring/Summer 2018? Here, a guided tour.

coolest artistsDutch Masters, Renaissance Art, Manga & Pixel Art At Comme Des Garcons

Rei Kawakubo turned the cold Brutalist halls of the Russian embassy in Paris into a spectacle of colours, proportions and prints that ran the gamut from Renaissance art to Japanese manga. She looked to the works of 10 artists as prints for her 15-piece collection, dubbed “multi-dimensional graffiti”. The surrealist paintings of 16th century painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, whose portraits were made up of fruits and vegetables, popped up on a crinolined gown. They were also mashed up with the vivid blooms by 17th century Dutch master Abraham Mignon for a sculptural dress and ruffled skirt. Other artwork spotted: The doll-eyed manga characters of 84-year-old artist Macoto Takahashi, and pixel art by the popular German- and Canadian-based outfit eBoy.

coolest artistsKeith Haring's Pop Art At Coach 1941

One is a recharged New York fashion brand that celebrates Americana in a big way each season. The other, the renegade artist who transformed the New York streetscape with his graffiti-like squiggles in the ’80s. So when Coach 1941 collaborated with the Keith Haring Foundation, it turned out into a collection apropos to the retro, groovy cool downtown vibe. Besides the leather jackets, slip dresses and tulle T-shirts festooned with burnt crystals, Haring’s drawings of the dancing man and hearts appeared on T-shirts, jumpers, boots and bags.


coolest artistsPostmodernism At Marni

Who knew that a cold call to American postmodernist artist David Salle was all it took for Marni’s Francesco Risso to get hold of the prints that appeared in three of the label’s S/S ’18 looks? The image from Salle’s Untitled (1979) painting features a nude girl smoking and answering the phone – lending a touch of feminine sensuality to Marni’s eclectic wardrobe that’s big on patchwork, deconstruction and exaggerated silhouettes.

coolest artistsAndy Warhol's Pop Art At Calvin Klein 205W39NYC And Versace

More than three decades after this death, Andy Warhol’s influence is still being celebrated. Calvin Klein 205W39NYC debuted its two-year partnership with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts by featuring screen prints of the artist’s darkest images on tank tops, frocks and shift dresses. The prints such as Knives (1981–82) and Electric Chair (1964–65) came from the Death and Disaster series, a collection of around 70 silk screens that dealt with the themes of catastrophes and death, aligned to chief creative officer Raf Simons’ vision for S/S ’18, which he dubbed “American horror, American dreams”. A more exuberant take on Warholian art appeared at Versace, where archival prints from 1991-1995 (the Gianni era) were rehashed. The “Pop Art” print from the S/S ’91 collection featured Warhol’s famous saturated prints of Marilyn Monroe (1967) on items such as boots and leggings.


coolest artistsComic Art At Prada

Trust fashion’s consummate feminist, Miuccia Prada to tap on eight female illustrators, whose works span genres from punk to sci-fi, to provide an underground-cool tableau of comic prints for her baby-doll dresses and a punk-inspired look this season. Among them, established comic names such as Trina Robbins, the first female to draw for a Wonder Woman comic, to contemporaries such as Los Angeles-based Joelle Jones, whose work has been published by DC and Marvel Comics, and London-based Brigid Elva, who’s known for politicised alt heroines.

coolest artistsConceptual Art At Dior

The late feminist, performance artist and sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle, known for her painting Tirs (1961) and rotund sculptures like Black Venus (1965-1967), was also a former model for Dior during the Marc Bohan years in the ’60s. Flash forward to S/S ’18, and her connection to the maison is retained under the watch of creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri. Cue the broken mirror dresses, a nod to the surrealist Tarot Garden in Tuscany where de Saint Phalle lived, and her whimsical motifs like the spider and the Dragon (1968) emblazoned on jumpers.


coolest artistsFuturism At Fendi

Considered the single most important avant-garde movement to burgeon from Italy in the 20th century. This school of thought, which celebrated advanced technology and urbanisation, was interpreted by Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi as a sophisticated collection comprising boxy cuts of the shoulders, and severe silhouettes on coats and skirts, which were then mashed up with the geometric lines and colours of early 20th century modernist painter Giacomo Balla.

coolest artistsCubism And Surrealism At Oscar De La Renta

The Sotheby’s galleries were a perfect backdrop for an energetic Oscar de la Renta collection – by designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia – that checked the colourful works of American sculptor Alexander Calder, and Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miro as inspirations. You see the references of Miro’s cubist and surrealist aesthetic in the bonded leather on tulle fit and flare dresses, while the sequinned paint splotches on the white shirts, column dresses and denims were reminiscent of the colour palette often used in Calder’s trademark mobiles.

This story first appeared in Female's January 2018 issue.

Like this? Check out the most covetable S/S'18 accessories, the stylish and affordable jackets to don in this cold-weather and the fashion editor's picks on the stylish buys to get this week

This article is originally published on Female Singapore.

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