People who loves fashion may identify fashion design as a kind of art. But there are also the ones considering themselves as art lovers – who therefore refuse to raise fashion to the level of true art. But there is an undeniable chemistry between fashion and art, proved by the fact that they become an awesome team when they embark on a project together.
Riccardo Tisci is Givenchy’s creative director since 2005. Three years ago, he brought really bad news to the fashion industry when he announced a temporary stop in Haute Couture production, stating that la maison needed to focus its efforts on prèt-â-porter designing and that he should be oriented to his own collaborations with art. Actually, one of his best known friends is the performer Marina Abramovic: not only have they worked together in multiple projects, but they have also expressed admiration for each other’s work and way of thinking on several occasions, to the point of sharing an irreverent style, which is usually reflected in their creations. A small example: in 2011, the unique art publication Visionarie launched a special issue on religion in which Tisci and Abramovic appeared pretending to be Miquelangelo’s Pietà. In the context of performing arts, the couple met in Paris two years later. Tisci was asked to design the costumes for Ravel’s Bolero ballet, shown in spring in the Opera Garnier Theater, also called Paris Opera. He stated that one of the reasons why he accepted the challenge was because his friend was the scenic designer of the ballet. Tisci designs were based on almost naked dancers, whose bodies were only covered by a white embroidery. As he says “The costumes express two sides of me: darkness and romantic”.
Helena Rubinstein can also be used to illustrate this topic. Her biography link business and cosmetics with great figures of twentieth century art. Born into a conservative Jewish family in Krakow, she became one of the most powerful women in the world in the early twenties thanks to her brand Helena Rubinstein. Even though she was focused on the cosmetics sector, fashion and art were also within her scope of influence. Actually, Rubinstein was painted by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Man Ray or Graham Sutherland -she loved surrealists- and built an eclectic art collection with pieces worldwide that mixed African and Oceanic art with Joan Miró, Frida Kahlo, Henry Matisse and Georges Braque creations. Her wardrobe was also marked by her aesthetic styles, including Paul Poiret’s Egyptian-inspired clothes or Elsa Schiaparelli’s bolero.
Cherry on top
With increasing frequency fashion industry winks at art. The Fondation Louis Vuitton – which opened its doors in Paris, 2014- is a majestic space for art and culture. As the luxury giant says, “devoted to contemporary art, the Fondation Louis Vuitton will enable a broad public to enjoy a multitude of artistic creations, deepening LVMH’s ongoing commitment to promoting culture.”
Riccardo Tisci feat Marina Abramovic, Helena Rubinstein or Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy are some evidence confirming the close relationships existing between art and fashion. In fact, it should not only confirm it, but also help some minds get rid of prejudice.