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From Canvas to Couture: How Artistic Movements Inspire Fashion Trends

Updated: Mar 24

By: Ally Ranieri

Life, and fashion, imitate art. It’s not uncommon for fashion designers to take inspiration from great artists and artistic movements to fuel their own creativity. From one of the most well-loved Met Gala themes, “Heavenly Bodies,” we saw some of the most popular looks inspired by the greatest baroque and renaissance-era religious art pieces. However, there are other lesser-known collaborations that have been influenced by artistic movements and have heavily impacted the world of fashion.

One of the greatest collaborations between a fashion designer and an artist was undoubtedly Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali. Schiaparelli was influenced by several artistic movements such as Dada and Futurism, but her love for surrealistic art was shared with Dali. Together, they created the Tears Dress as part of Schiaparelli’s Circus Collection, which was a comment on the unrealistic standards placed on women and their bodies. This gown played with the idea of combining fabric and flesh and takes inspiration from the middle female figure from one of Schiaparelli’s favorite paintings, Three young surrealist women holding in their arms the skins of an orchestra (1936).

Another inspiring collaboration between designers and artists is Paloma Picasso and Tiffany & Co. In 1980, Picasso released her collection with the iconic jewelry brand, which combined aspects of street art and design into her pieces while keeping the luxurious, sophisticated look that the company is so well-known for. This collection came from Picasso’s deep belief that seemingly negative qualities of urban life, such as graffiti, could be turned into elegant statement pieces. She proved that great art can come from anywhere. Picasso was able to create such bold designs while maintaining the look of the Tiffany and Co. brand and took many artistic risks to create a unique collection to add to the company’s portfolio.

Both of these fashion designers were proud to use art and their designs to spread messages that were important to them. These two collections are a testament to the idea that great art inspires great art.

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