Art meets fashion: the top 5 fusions from Paris Couture

Art meets fashion: the top 5 fusions from Paris Couture

Creative inspiration

Site: Anna McClelland

Whether the designers realised it or not, the couture shows were dripping with artistic references, writes Amy Finlayson

Next-level wearable art at Viktor & Rolf. Donatella Versace's Pre-Raphaelite nymphs. Karl Lagerfeld's somewhat controversial fur fest at Fendi. This year, it seems like all the designers found  inspiration for their Paris Couture collections in art through the ages. Here are five of my favourites.

1. Viktor & Rolf

Art meets fashion: the top 5 fusions from Paris Couture (фото 1)

Models paraded down the catwalk looking like they'd been propelled through paintings, with each canvas becoming increasingly detailed as the show went on. Soft and subtle hues of blue and white became detailed works by Dutch masters that highlighted the tailoring and drapery skill that Viktor & Rolf are so famous for. Once walked, the pieces were removed by the duo in a subtle nod to performance art and were hung on the wall of the Palais de Tokyo gallery where the show was held. From cape to canvas, petticoat to portrait, fashion literally turned to art and (vice versa) in this creative couture performance.

Related story: Tech stroke: 5 of the best apps for art lovers

2. Maison Margiela by John Galliano

Art meets fashion: the top 5 fusions from Paris Couture (фото 2)

Galliano's turn at Margiela seems to be following a pattern of artistic influences. Last season it was Basquiat, and for Fall Couture '15 Maison Margiela revisited the iconic blue tone championed by Yves Klein back in the '50s and '60s.  Perhaps the iconic colour was Galliano's way of mirroring Klein's focus and determination in his 'quest to reach the far side of the infinite'. The show was flecked with the historic hue, including personalised applications for each model by the uber-talented Pat McGrath.

Related story: Art Voyeur: your guide to the Venice Biennale

3. Fendi

Art meets fashion: the top 5 fusions from Paris Couture (фото 3)

Largerfeld presented his landmark Fendi couture show against the backdrop of 'Piazza d'Italia' by Giorgio de Chirico, founder of the scuola metafisica art movement and the master of chiaroscuro, perspective and imagination (and also one of the most famous painters of the 20th century). With personal reservations on fur aside, the show embraced all aspects of the Chirico philosophy - craftsmanship, history, contrasts, and above all, imagination.

Related story: Street style: 34 looks from Paris Couture you NEED to see

4. Atelier Versace

Art meets fashion: the top 5 fusions from Paris Couture (фото 4)

With a set heavily influenced by Romanticism (and a touch of Art Nouveau), it seemed fitting for Donatella Versace to embrace her more tender side for this collection - a massive departure from the look of past seasons. Fluid fabrics and tiny flowers were reminiscent of a '70s version of John William Waterhouse's 'Ophelia'. Diaphanous dresses floated down the runway, materialising Waterhouse's amorous masterpieces.

Related story: Secret creatives: 8 of the most surprising celebrity artists

5. Dior

Art meets fashion: the top 5 fusions from Paris Couture (фото 5)

Raf Simons' presented a modern religious experience under sheets of what seemed to resemble beautifully reimagined stained glass windows. Taking the oldest elements of religious iconography, Simons' reworking of elements from the House of Worship saw a modern day twist on divine dressing.

His main influence was the Garden of Earthly Delights, a triptych from the 1500s by artist Hieronymus Bosch. Aspects of both Paradise and Purgatory were found in this oil painting and this collection, along with the oversized fruit that was scattered along the runway. The binary oppositions of modernity and history and femininity and masculinity were used as foundations for this collection as Simons breathed new life into ancient narratives.

Related story: The garden of earthly delights at Dior Couture A/W '15

Related articles

Buro 24/7 Selection