Oscar Wilde once said: ‘One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.’ In this one sentence, Wilde has summed up the essence of the fashion industry; it’s not about superficialness or snobbery, but culture, design and craftsmanship. Just as you connect with a painting, clothing allows you to connect with yourself, your inner personality, and present it to the world.
Over the years, fashion has taken numerous references from art. Think Gaultier and Impressionism, McQueen and Picasso. Perhaps the most vibrant movement to capture the imagination of designers is that of pop art – note Andy Warhol and the 60s Souper Dress. A movement intensified by Salvador Dali’s stroke of surrealist genius; placing a giant-sized lobster on a white Elsa Schiaparelli dinner dress.
That was 1937. Fast-forward to the 50s and pop art had began to pop, literally.
With designers as feminine and refined as Dior embracing pop art, it’s easy to see why it’s having a moment. Put simply: it’s cool. Nike, famous for its hip authenticity, has featured Roy Lichtenstein inspired designs on its footwear. Adidas and Reebok have adorned theirs with the artwork of Keith Haring. At the other end of the spectrum, Westwood, Jacobs and Vuitton have all taken inspiration from the movement.
And with the success of Sonia Delaunay’s exhibition in London, it seems that the influence of abstract art is in no danger of slowing down any time soon.
Packed with bright colours, geometric shapes and statement writing, expect to see these features filter down to your wardrobe over the next year.
A colour pallet of black, yellow, grey and white will become the fresher, updated monochrome. Checkerboard effect will replace the overdone dog-tooth pattern and smudged utterances will over-take the slogan jumper.
Rectangles, squares, ovals and half-moons will intertwine to create an amalgamation of kaleidoscope-esque prints. Expect to look like an optical illusion, but in a stylish, fresh and simplistic manner. Ok, maybe the imperative is a little over exaggerated, but anticipate Delaunay inspired designs to crop up in forthcoming collections.