Pop Art's Fusion with Fashion
Emerging from the States and the UK in the 1950s, the revolutionary art movement 'Pop Art' arrived. Reaching its peak popularity during the 60s, it is some of the earliest examples of Postmodernism Art. Pop Art was a significant art movement as it challenged concepts of what was considered to be fine art. This movement took ideas from capitalism, through advertising to packaging, consumer culture and pop culture. Pop Art reduced the hierarchy of art, making it more accessible for the general public to relate to. A key aspect of Pop Art is the celebration of irony, which was achieved by fusing the territories of high art and pop culture.
Yves Saint Laurant 1966
In 1965 YSL paid homage to the art scene by introducing his 'Mondrian series'. His interest in art was relaid the following season in 1966, in which his designs honoured the Pop Art movement. In particular, a large tribute was played to Tom Wesselmann. Influenced by Wesselman's collage and simplified approach to painting, 2 dresses were designed with his visual aesthetics in mind; seen below left and right. The rest of the collection consisted of bright colours and simple shapes, a classic reference to the 60s art movement.
A brand known for its loud use of colour, in 1991 Gianni Versace didn't shy away from his aesthetic with vibrant colours in his Pop Art inspired collection. From Marilyn Monroe prints inspired by Andy Warhol as well as the use of comicesque patterns and shapes were seen in his SS91 collection.
As a tribute to the 20th anniversary of the late designer Gianni Versace, the original 1991 Pop Art collection was reinvented with the colours more jarring than previous.
Anya Hindmarch, another designer that takes a keen interest in referencing Pop Art throughout her collections. In 2014 Anya Hindmarch collaborated with Waitrose to create limited edition Frosties cereal boxes. The limited-edition range was titled 'fashion flakes', however, the constantly recurring theme of Pop Art through fashion doesn't seem to fade. The interest in product packaging in fashion is a phenomena that continues to follow over from the Pop Art movement which was initially seen in Warhol's 'Brillo Box'.
A brand known for its playful and ironic designs, Moschino always takes inspiration from pop and consumer culture. Every collection appears to be a direct reflection on society, from its 'Barbie' collection in 2015 to last year's 'Pixel' collection inspired by The Sims. However, some collections that particularly stand out to me most as being most directly inspired by the Pop Art movement are as follows:
Moschino's Fall 2014 collection took direct inspiration from concepts of the Pop Art movement. This collection highlighted the irony between similarities in the production of fast food and fast fashion. Some garments had taken direct design inspiration from the classic Chanel suits which is juxtaposed by being paired against McDonald's inspired imagery. This concept plays with the paradoxes that are consistently seen throughout Pop Art.
With the ad campaign heavily referencing the works of Roy Lichtenstein, Moschino has yet again been strongly influenced by the irony found within Pop Art. This collection turned hi-vis vests into runway-worthy garments and construction icons into accessories.
A collection inspired by Old Hollywood and Space Age Glam, it is difficult not to see the strong correlation between Warhol's colour palette and that used by creative director, Jeremy Scott.
These glamorous alien-like looks celebrate the paradox of the elusive, out of this world, beauty standard attained by style icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Kim Kardashian.
Calvin Klein 2018
In 2018 Calvin Klein Jeans collaborated with The Andy Warhol Foundation. Collaborative designs are still being produced and range from underwear, swimsuits and outerwear. The relation to Pop Art can be seen through references to Warhol's aesthetics and prints of himself onto garments.
Personally, I find the appearance of Pop Art in fashion appealing. In particular, I enjoy the playful irony seen in Moschino and Anya Hindmarch, as I think this is more creative than the more literal references such as prints and imagery that emerged over the 60s. However, in saying this, I also think it is important to note that season after season Moschino continues to make a mockery of the fashion world. Sometimes I think their collections make a stronger artistic statement than a fashion statement.