Art VS Fashion

What happens when art becomes inspiration for fashion prints?

Text: Konstantina Livaditi


Different kinds of prints and motifs have always been a source of inspiration for every fashion designer. But what happens when the inspiration comes directly through art? Let’s say that the result is like a wearable artwork!

Whole paintings, motifs from art movements and details from artworks are becoming prints on dresses, trousers and other pieces of our wardrobe, giving a unique essence to what we wear.

Let’s see some unique pieces of art, from which fashion designers drew inspiration.


Keith Haring VS Jean-Charles Castelbajac

Cartoon-like graphics are the main characteristics of Keith Haring’s artworks. This specific painting is called Radiant Child and he was made it in 1985. Many fashion designers have co-opted Haring motifs into their clothing designs, such as Jean-Charles Castelbajac’s dress, which is part of the Spring-Summer 2002 collection.


John Everett Millais VS Jean-Charles De Castelbajac

John Everett Millais was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which was part of the quattrocento art period (or the 15th century Italian art). Shakespeare was one of the basic inspirations; that is why Millais depicted “Ophelia”, a tragic figure from Hamlet in his painting, in 1851-52. Jean-Charles De Castelbajac’s drew inspiration from the painting in his Fall-Winter 2013/2014 collection.


Andy Warhol VS Dior

“Female Head with Stamps” is an early piece of art of the famous pop arist Andy Warhol. For Christian Dior’s FW 2013 collection by Raf Simons, the company collaborated with the Andy Warhol Foundation, letting Dior use the famous art pieces as motifs in many pieces of the collection.


Van Gogh VS Rodarte

The “Vase with 12 sunflowers” is one of the most known artworks, which was created by Van Gogh, in 1888. Rodarte was inspired by the vibrant colors of the painting, giving in its Spring-Summer 2012 collection a unique touch.


M. C. Escher VS Alexander McQueen

Dutch artist M. C. Escher uses mathematical forms, in order to create multiple perspectives in his artworks, creating a type of optical illusions. The ”Liberation”, made in 1955, is based on this type of creation. Alexander McQueen drew inspiration from the artist, for his Fall-Winter 2009 collection, creating bird-motifs with expansive wings in an Escher like-manner.


Mosaic from the Monreale Cathedral VS Dolce &Gabbana

The Cathedral in the town of Monreale is considered one of the greatest extant examples of Norman architecture. Exquisite mosaics are lining all over the walls, giving a great inspiration to the creative duo Dolce &Gabbana, who payed homage to the unique masterpieces of the cathedral, by making them a print in their Fall-Winter 2013 collection.


Robert Campin VS Alexander McQueen

Flemish painter Robert Campinhas created“The Thief to the Left of Christ”, in 1430. Alexander McQueen printed Campin’s painting of the crucifixionon a jacket, in his Fall-Winter 2009 collection, by making it a kind of patchwork.


Wiener Werkstätte textile VS Pucci

Vienna Secession was developed by Josef Hoffman, in 1903, creating a variety of pieces of arts, from paintings and buildings, to jewelry and textiles. An offshoot of the Vienna Secession was the Wiener Werkstätte, which was specialized in jewelry and textiles. Emanuel Josef Margold’s embroidery design of 1907 might influenced Peter Dundas, who created prints for Emilio Pucci Fall-Winter 2013 collection, which were recembling to the first one.


Katsushika Hokusai VS John Galliano for Christian Dior

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai, is one the most well-known Japanese artworks.  Inspired by this major piece of art, John Galliano incorporated the famous motif as a print, for Christian Dior Spring Haute Couture 2007, on a white gown.


Gustav Klimt VS L’Wren Scott

Gustav Klimt is a well-known “Art nouveauish” artist. In his paintings, he used a lot of golden-leaf, kaleidoscopic kind of prints and for this, he became inspiration for many other artists. L’Wren Scott, revealed that he had “a gold moment” in his Fall-Winter 2013/2014 collection, looking to Gustav Klimt’s portrait for inspiration.